USDA/USFS/NCAR Integrated Data and Tools for Watershed Condition Assessments
Observations, Remote-Sensing and Simulation
8:00 am – 5:00 pm MDT
Integrated Data and Tools for Watershed Condition Assessments scoping meeting
USDA/USFS National Stream & Aquatic Ecology Center
Room 120, Building A, 2150 Centre Avenue, Fort Collins, Colorado
September 6-7, 2017
This invitation-only scoping meeting takes the first steps towards developing approaches to quantitatively evaluate and validate watershed condition nationally using standardized methods, datasets and tools.
NFS Deputy Chief Leslie Weldon has asked NFS and R&D scientists to develop an integrated, data-driven evaluation of watershed condition, using the criteria identified by the Forest Service’s Watershed Condition Framework (WCF). The final step of WCF involves developing a national approach to monitor and assess the effectiveness of restoration treatments on WCF Priority Watersheds.
Over the past decade the WCF has identified 298 Priority Watersheds across National Forest System (NFS) lands, and approximately 75 of those have completed restoration treatments as part of their Watershed Restoration Action Plans (WRAPs). The WCF effort has a goal of evaluating the impacts and outcomes related to the different suites of restoration actions, and to achieve this we are developing and integrating hydrologic, aquatic and terrestrial indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of the restoration treatments on improving or maintaining the overall condition of these watersheds.
Meeting participants will consist of watershed program managers, research hydrologists and biologists, terrestrial ecologists, remote sensing and GIS experts, as well as physical modelers. Our hope is that this approach will augment the WCF’s current approach to evaluating watershed condition, which is primarily based on project-level evaluations of the effectiveness of restoration treatments that include multi-day field visits of Priority Watersheds.
Desired Outcome: To consistently evaluate and simulate Watershed Condition with a standard set of criteria identified to be used by land managers, and for integration into Forest Plans.
Long-term goal: To link the technical development community with land-managers, specifically for assessing validating watershed condition on a national scale. In addition, it is critical to utilize and coordinate with Forest Service Research & Development efforts to meet the needs of the National Forests and Grasslands.
Key Questions: There are a number of key questions we are trying to address as part of this effort, such as:
- Can we develop a consistent data-driven approach to evaluate watershed condition nationally using standardized datasets and tools?
- What spatial, temporal and quality resolutions are needed for quantitatively inter-comparing in-situ observations with remote sensing and model simulation products at scales relevant to WCF?
- What are the observational, remote sensing and simulation capabilities needed to do this at the appropriate scale for assessing National Forest watersheds?
- Gaps: What integrated observational, remote sensing and simulation products are needed for this effort?
- How to link/compare the Watershed Condition Framework (WCF) to the Forest Service’s Terrestrial Condition Assessment (TCA)?
Additional Meeting Registration and Logistics Information will appear here after July 10.
National Program Leader, National Stream & Aquatic Ecology Center
Research Ecologist, Pacific Southwest Research Station
Director, Climate Science and Application Program, NCAR