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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MODELING FIRE EFFECTS ON WATER QUALITY FOR DECISION SUPPORT AND TARGETED MITIGATION IN NATIONAL PARK SERVICE (NPS) RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Location: Southwest Watershed Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this project is to quantitatively link burn severity with existing watershed scale hydrology and erosion models to assess risk to aquatic resources and downstream communities.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
For 4 to 5 National Parks assemble the needed data and calibrate the watershed models for current conditions. Post-fire watershed assessment can then be conducted quickly by importing a fire severity map. Transform available data and model simulation results to information tailored to NPS resource management needs for decisions regarding fire and fuel-load management. Train NPS and BAER staff to use the AGWA integrated modeling tool. Documents Reimbursable with Nationl Park Service. Log 42202.


3.Progress Report:

This project has been completed and this report is the final report for this project. The agreement was established in support of Objective 1 of the in-house project, "Improve watershed management by developing the capacity to more accurately predict soil and plant water dynamics utilizing a combination of remote sensing, modeling and in-situ measurements". Work was completed with National Park Staff at Zion, Bryce, Bandelier, and Chickasaw National Parks or Monuments to compile all input data files to enable National Parks Service (NPS) staff to model their respective watersheds within the parks or monuments with the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) Tool. We worked with, and trained NPS staff to run AGWA and develop management scenarios (prescribed burns, fuels thinning, post-wildfire) to assess their impacts on local and down stream water resources and water quality. Several journal publications are being developed based on this research. In addition, this effort resulted in AGWA being adapted by the Department of Interior (DOI) National Burn Area Emergency Response (BAER) teams for rapid post-wildfire watershed assessments. This led directly to establishment of the new Interagency Agreement entitled “ARS Support to National Burned Area Emergency Response Agencies Through Use of the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) Tool” (Project No: 5342-13610-011-09R, agreement # 60-5342-2-0861) with the DOI Bureau of Land Management.


Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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