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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Aquatic and Riparian Strategies: A Watershed Scale Approach
The northwest state forests are committed by the Forest Management Plan to evaluate if the aquatic and riparian strategies are effectively achieving desired outcomes.  Strategies that could be addressed include site-specific (riparian and aquatic), landscape (roads) and watershed scale (salmon anchor habitat) approaches. 
Currently there are monitoring programs in place to assess effects of forest management on riparian and aquatic resources at a reach scale. At question are potential cumulative effects of forest management that may result from non-detectable effects of multiple reaches in a watershed.  This means that monitoring efforts to assess effectiveness of our protection, management and restoration practices must be done at a watershed scale.  Watershed scale effectiveness monitoring has the potential to quantify the effects of specific practices or policies and link those effects to local and downstream conditions, watershed conditions, and cumulative effects.
Accomplishments to Date (March 2006):
  • Completed a comparative analysis describing watershed scale studies and key decision points for ODF (received technical review).
  • Described available resources and initiated partnerships to implement the study.
Next Steps:
  • Continue to build partnerships with local and non-governmental groups and define these roles.
  • Finalize draft study design and send out for peer review.
  • Form an external review committee comprised of interested parties to support project, review science, understand outcomes, provide feedback, and share findings with their organizations.
  • Come to common agreement on priority questions and objectives that can be addressed at larger basin scales (extensive).
  • Acquire grant support for capital expenses for intensive work and both capital and operational expenses of extensive work.
It is anticipated that results from this project would inform changes at the forest management plan level as well as changes to the implementation and/or annual operation plans at the district level.  Preliminary results should be available in 2011 for the first 10-year review of the forest management plans.

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