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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Multi-Scale, Multi-Temporal Watershed Assessments for Land Management Affecting a Listed Native Trout

Authors
item Booth, D
item Cox, Samuel
item Simmonds, G - OPEN RANGE CONSULTING

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 5, 2005
Publication Date: February 17, 2006
Citation: Booth, D.T., Cox, S.E., Simmonds, G. 2006. Multi-scale, multi-temporal watershed assessments for land management affecting a listed native trout. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts. #39 CD-ROM.

Technical Abstract: Rangeland management practices have historically sought to optimize livestock production by season-long grazing – an emphasis that resulted in environmental degradation as was acknowledge and accepted by Stoddard and Smith in their 1955 text titled, ‘Range Management.’ The degradation typically occurred along riparian zones in topographically diverse rangelands where the streams reached into foothill transition zones below higher elevation summer pastures. Livestock concentrated in these areas reduced willows, aspen, cottonwood, beaver and -- due to stream widening, water-depth reduction and water-temperature warming at critical seasons -- the related fisheries. The fisheries fragmented or lost were those of western native trout species, including bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) and the cutthroat trout Bonneville (Oncorhynchus clarki utah), Colorado River (O. c. pleuriticus), Greenback (O. c. stomias) (listed), and Lahontan (O. c. henshawi) (listed). All of these native trout require clear cold water, adequate late-summer stream flows, low levels of sediment, well-distributed pools, stable stream banks, and abundant stream cover. Multiple-use sustainable management provides for livestock grazing while supporting the natural variety of indigenous plant and animal species and while “healing” degraded areas. However, sustainable management of these natural resources requires landscape-scale monitoring that effectively addresses the information needs of conservation biologists, ecologists, rangeland managers and others. In 2003, coincident with changes in grazing management, the Squaw Valley Ranch in Elko County, Nevada, initiated multi-scale, multi-temporal aerial assessments of the Lahontan-cutthroat-trout containing Rock Creek watershed. The surveys were flown 2003 through 2005. Riparian areas were surveyed at10 mm GSD (30 x 40-m field of view), to assess critical stream flows and associated riparian vegetation. Upland photographic samples were captured at 1-mm GSD (3 x 4 m field of view) to measure percent bare ground. The resulting success in change-detection supports the utility of high-sampling intensity, multi-scale, multi-temporal aerial data bases for landscape-scale, multi-disciplinary resource monitoring.

Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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