Submitted to: Wetlands Engineering and River Restoration Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/22/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The dominant water and energy source for rivers and wetlands is typically found in the uplands-the contributing watersheds. This is particularly evident for the topographically complex landscapes of the interior Pacific Northwest and Great Basin regions, where meltwater from high-elevation snowpacks is the primary water source for rivers traversing extensive semiarid lowlands. Managing river reaches and wetlands thus presupposes knowledge of hydrologic and ecologic relationships of upland watersheds- at least to the level needed to provide predictive capability for watershed inputs (water, energy, nutrients), the pertinent landscape-scale interactions and processing of those inputs, their routing from upland catchments to lowland rivers and wetlands (from high-energy to low-energy regimes), and possible feedback mechanisms. This relationship is demonstrated for diverse sectors of a rangeland watershed system in which hydrologic regime of headwater and mid-elevation sectors is intimately liked to streamflow and channel processes in low-elevation, higher- order stream reaches. Hydraulic modeling for the low- elevation stream reaches is dependent on adequately understanding hydrologic and ecosystem characteristics of the source watershed. Such knowledge is requisite to comprehensive, integrated and ultimately successful river or wetland restoration and management.