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Collaboration has taken root in national forest planning, providing expanded opportunities for stakeholder participation in decision-making, but are these processes considered meaningful by key stakeholders? Do the processes result in increased participation by key stakeholders? We present results of a study of stakeholder perspectives of a collaborative planning process on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests in Western Colorado, U.S.A. The stakeholders were stratified by participation levels in order to explore a possible relationship between participation and perceptions of the collaborative process. We used a Q-methodology approach to compare and contrast perspectives across participant...
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This study examines the establishment patterns of exotic and ruderal species along trail corridors in grassland areas of the Colorado Front Range. The effects of trail presence, trail age, and trail traffic levels on exotic and ruderal species establishment are explored to ascertain the potential impacts of trails on surrounding vegetation. Established trails exhibited a greater presence of exotic and ruderal species along the immediate trailside, showing that disturbed trailsides tend to encourage the growth of these species over time. Furthermore, the established trails exhibited significantly less native, nonruderal, and overall species richness at the trailside. These trailside patterns did not show a significant...
The traditional method of identifying wildlife habitat distribution over large regions consists of pixel-based classification of satellite images into a suite of habitat classes used to select suitable habitat patches. Object-based classification is a new method that can achieve the same objective based on the segmentation of spectral bands of the image creating homogeneous polygons with regard to spatial or spectral characteristics. The segmentation algorithm does not solely rely on the single pixel value, but also on shape, texture, and pixel spatial continuity. The object-based classification is a knowledge base process where an interpretation key is developed using ground control points and objects are assigned...
We quantified annual sediment deposition, bank erosion, and sediment budgets in nine riverine wetlands that represented a watershed continuum for 1 year in the unregulated Yampa River drainage basin in Colorado. One site was studied for 2 years to compare responses to peak flow variability. Annual mean sediment deposition ranged from 0.01 kg/m(2) along a first-order subalpine stream to 21.8 kg/m(2) at a sixth-order alluvial forest. Annual mean riverbank erosion ranged from 3 kg/m-of-bank at the first-order site to 1000 kg/m at the 6(th)-order site. Total sediment budgets were nearly balanced at six sites, while net export from bank erosion occurred at three sites. Both total sediment deposition (R(2) = 0.86, p <...
Non-native shrub species in the genus Tamarix (saltcedar, tamarisk) have colonized hundreds of thousands of hectares of floodplains, reservoir margins, and other wetlands in western North America. Many resource managers seek to reduce saltcedar abundance and control its spread to increase the flow of water in streams that might otherwise be lost to evapotranspiration, to restore native riparian (streamside) vegetation, and to improve wildlife habitat. However, increased water yield might not always occur and has been substantially lower than expected in water salvage experiments, the potential for successful revegetation is variable, and not all wildlife taxa clearly prefer native plant habitats over saltcedar....
The flow regime is regarded by many aquatic ecologists to be the key driver of river and floodplain wetland ecosystems. We have focused this literature review around four key principles to highlight the important mechanisms that link hydrology and aquatic biodiversity and to illustrate the consequent impacts of altered flow regimes: Firstly, flow is a major determinant of physical habitat in streams, which in turn is a major determinant of biotic composition; Secondly, aquatic species have evolved life history strategies primarily in direct response to the natural flow regimes; Thirdly, maintenance of natural patterns of longitudinal and lateral connectivity is essential to the viability of populations of many riverine...
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These data were compiled for the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service to identify and quantify the spatial distribution of fine fuels in relation to wildfire management across jurisdictional boundaries. Objective(s) of our study were to map the 2021 annual distribution of the biomass (kg/ha) of fine fuels (grasses, shrubs, and forbs) for the whole of the Altar Valley, AZ, including the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. These data represent estimated biomass of fine fuels (kg/ha) at a 10-m resolution. These data were collected/created in September through October 2021 for the Altar Valley, located in Pima County, AZ, USA. These data were collected/created by the U.S. Geological...
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Heavy visitor use in many areas of the world have necessitated development of ways to assess visitation impacts. Arches National Park recently completed a Visitor Experience and Resource Protection (VERP) plan. Integral to this plan was developing a method to identify biological indicators that would both measure visitor impacts and response to management actions. The process used in Arches for indicator selection is outlined here as a model applicable to many areas facing similar challenges. The steps were: (1) Vegetation types most used by visitors were identified. Impacted and unimpacted areas in these types were sampled, comparing vegetation and soil factors. (2) Variables found to differ significantly between...
State-and-transition models are increasingly being used to guide rangeland management. These models provide a relatively simple, management-oriented way to classify land condition (state) and to describe the factors that might cause a shift to another state (a transition). There are many formulations of state-and-transition models in the literature. The version we endorse does not adhere to any particular generalities about ecosystem dynamics, but it includes consideration of several kinds of dynamics and management response to them. In contrast to previous uses of state-and-transition models, we propose that models can, at present, be most effectively used to specify and qualitatively compare the relative benefits...
We investigated the influence of long-term (56 years) grazing on organic and inorganic carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) contents of the plant-soil system (to 90 cm depth) in shortgrass steppe of northeastern Colorado. Grazing treatments included continuous season-long (May-October) grazing by yearling heifers at heavy (60-75% utilization) and light (20-35% utilization) stocking rates, and nongrazed exclosures. The heavy stocking rate resulted in a plant community that was dominated (75% of biomass production) by the C4 grass blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), whereas excluding livestock grazing increased the production of C3 grasses and prickly pear cactus (Opuntia polycantha). Soil organic C (SOC) and organic N were not...
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Note: this data release has been deprecated. Please see new data release here: https://doi.org/10.5066/P9347I2H. These data were compiled to estimate fine-fuel abundance and distribution across the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona, USA. The objectives of the study were to develop and validate annual estimates of fine fuel (biomass of herbaceous vegetation) for the refuge and to assess changes in fine fuels through time in response to wildfire and prescribed fire. These data represent the amount of herbaceous biomass or fine fuels (kg/ha) present at a 10-m resolution derived from in-situ estimates of ground cover modeled with satellite imagery. These satellite image data were collected over...
Two decades of uncharacteristically severe wildfires have caused government and private land managers to actively reduce hazardous fuels to lessen wildfire severity in western forests, including riparian areas. Because riparian fuel treatments are a fairly new management strategy, we set out to document their frequency and extent on federal lands in the western U.S. Seventy-four USDA Forest Service Fire Management Officers (FMOs) in 11 states were interviewed to collect information on the number and characteristics of riparian fuel reduction treatments in their management district. Just under half of the FMOs surveyed (43%) indicated that they were conducting fuel reduction treatments in riparian areas. The primary...
Removal of nonnative riparian trees is accelerating to conserve water and improve habitat for native species. Widespread control of dominant species, however, can lead to unintended erosion. Helicopter herbicide application in 2003 along a 12-km reach of the Rio Puerco, New Mexico, eliminated the target invasive species saltcedar (Tamarix spp.), which dominated the floodplain, as well as the native species sandbar willow (Salix exigua Nuttall), which occurred as a fringe along the channel. Herbicide application initiated a natural experiment testing the importance of riparian vegetation for bank stability along this data-rich river. A flood three years later eroded about 680,000 m(3) of sediment, increasing mean...
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The Gunnison River in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park (BCNP) near Montrose, Colorado is a mixed gravel and bedrock river with ephemeral side tributaries. Flow rates are controlled immediately upstream by a diversion tunnel and three reservoirs. The management of the hydraulic control structures has decreased low-frequency, high-stage flows, which are the dominant geomorphic force in bedrock channel systems. We developed a simple model to estimate the extent of sediment mobilization at a given flow in the BCNP and to evaluate changes in the extent and frequency of sediment mobilization for flow regimes before and after flow regulation in 1966. Our methodology provides a screening process for identifying...
American geomorphologic research related to dams is embedded in a complicated context of science, policy, economics, and culture. Research into the downstream effects of large dams has progressed to the point of theory-building, but generalization and theory-building are from this research because (1) it is highly focused on a few locations, (2) it concerns mostly very large dams rather than a representative sample of sizes, (3) the available record of effects is too short to inform us on long-term changes, (4) the reversibility of changes imposed by dam installation and operation is unknown, and (5) coordinated funding for the needed research is scarce. In the scientific context, present research is embedded in...
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These data were compiled to estimate fine-fuel abundance and distribution across the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona, USA. The objectives of the study were to develop and validate annual estimates of fine fuel (biomass of herbaceous vegetation) for the refuge and to assess changes in fine fuels through time in response to wildfire and prescribed fire. These data represent the amount of herbaceous biomass or fine fuels (kg/ha) present at a 10-m resolution derived from in-situ estimates of ground cover modeled with satellite imagery. These satellite image data were collected over the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge during leaf-on (August) and leaf-off (November) time periods annually...
A recent article in Environmental Management by All argued that flood flows in North America's Colorado River do not reach the Gulf of California because they are captured and evaporated in Laguna Salada, a below sea-level lakebed near the mouth of the river. We refute this hypothesis by showing that (1) due to its limited area, the Laguna Salada could have evaporated less than 10% of the flood flows that have occurred since 1989; (2) low flow volumes preferentially flow to the Gulf rather than Laguna Salada; (3) All's method for detecting water surface area in the Laguna Salada appears to be flawed because Landsat Thematic Mapper images of the lakebed show it to be dry when All's analyses said it was flooded; (4)...
Ecological impacts of water-quality problems have developed in the western United States resulting from the disposal of seleniferous agricultural wastewater in wetland areas. Overt effects of selenium toxicosis occurred at five areas where deformities of wild aquatic birds were similar to those first observed at Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge in the west-central San Joaquin Valley of California. These areas are: Tulare Lake Bed Area, California, Middle Green River Basin, Utah, Kendrick Reclamation Project Area, Wyoming, Sun River Basin, Montana, and Stillwater Wildlife Management Area, Nevada. Potential for ecological damage is indicated at six more sites in Oregon, Colorado, the Colorado/Kansas border, and...
Abstract (from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320715300926): Ecological resilience assessments are an important part of resilience-based management (RBM) and can help prioritize and target management actions. Use of such assessments has been limited due to a lack of clear guidance on the assessment process. This study builds on the latest scientific advances in RBM to provide that guidance from a resilience assessment undertaken in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). We assessed spatial variation in ecological resilience potential at 78 forereef sites near the populated islands of the CNMI: Saipan, Tinian/Aguijan, and Rota. The assessments are based on measuring indicators...
Initial river rehabilitation efforts along the North Fork Gunnison River in Colorado focused on the use of in-stream structures and channel stabilization to create a single-thread channel with pools along a braided river. These efforts were based on the assumption that the river's braided planform results primarily from land use during the past century. In order to establish a context for further rehabilitation, we evaluated the possibility that the river might be braided as a result of processes independent of land use. We estimated volume, grain-size distribution, and lithology of sediment sources along the river corridor and evaluated the planform stability of the river during the past century using historical...


map background search result map search result map Assessment of coarse sediment mobility in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River, Colorado. Choosing Indicators of Natural Resource Condition: A Case Study in Arches National Park, Utah, USA Impacts of recreation trails on exotic and ruderal species distribution in grassland areas along the Colorado Front Range. Why won't they come? Stakeholder perspectives on collaborative national forest planning by participation level. Remotely sensed fine fuel data for Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) from 2015 to 2020 Remotely sensed fine-fuel data for Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) from 2015 to 2020 Predicted biomass of fine fuel for Altar Valley, Arizona, 2021 Assessment of coarse sediment mobility in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River, Colorado. Choosing Indicators of Natural Resource Condition: A Case Study in Arches National Park, Utah, USA Remotely sensed fine fuel data for Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) from 2015 to 2020 Remotely sensed fine-fuel data for Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) from 2015 to 2020 Impacts of recreation trails on exotic and ruderal species distribution in grassland areas along the Colorado Front Range. Predicted biomass of fine fuel for Altar Valley, Arizona, 2021 Why won't they come? Stakeholder perspectives on collaborative national forest planning by participation level.