(Fwd) watershed indicators (fwd)

Victor Guest vic at daena.eepo.com.au
Sat May 9 14:25:39 EDT 1998

Reply-To: Conference "chrm.general" <chrm-general at igc.apc.org>
From: wyattf at cfra.org
Folks - I apologise to those of you who've seen this already.
  --  Wyatt

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date:          Tue, 5 May 1998 15:43:43 -0500
From:          "Michelle M. Miller" <mmmille6 at facstaff.wisc.edu>
Subject:       watershed indicators

Sustainable development / ag  folks --

Thought the following might intrigue you.  Canada has set some ambitious
targets for restoring natural systems as a way to restore their natural
functions.  Perhaps this might be useful in developing our own indicators?

>                      GREAT LAKES UNITED
>                Great Lakes Habitat Watch #111
>                    Week of April 27, 1998
>with wide applicability to communities across the Great
>Lakes Basin, the Canada-Ontario Remedial Action Plan
>Steering Committee has outlined a provocative set of
>guidelines to protect and rehabilitate ecosystems on a
>watershed basis.  The report, "A Framework for Guiding
>Habitat Rehabilitation in Great Lakes Areas of
>Concern," was prepared for the Steering Committee by
>the Canadian Wildlife Service, the Ontario Ministry of
>Natural Resources, and the Ontario Ministry of the
>Environment.  It is intended to provide local planners
>and citizen partnerships a set a scientifically based
>targets to restore the ecological function of various
>habitats, including wetlands, riparian areas, and
>forests in the 16 Canadian Areas of Concern.  Among the
>report guidelines are:
>       WETLANDS   should occupy a minimum of 10% of the
>watershed area or their historic percentage, should be
>buffered at a 3:1 upland-to-wetland ratio or to 240
>meters, and restorations should be prioritized in
>headwaters, floodplains, and coastal zones.
>       RIPARIAN AREAS   streams should be naturally
>vegetated along 75% of their length, should have a 30
>meter buffer along each side, and the entire watershed
>should target less than 15% "impervious" surfaces
>(roads, commercial/industrial, and high-density
>residential development).  Goals for the rehabilitation
>of the riverine ecosystem are addressed by recommending
>the establishment of individualized fish community
>       FORESTS   watersheds should 1) have 30% forest
>cover, 2) have 5% of forest cover as interior forest
>that is at least 200 meters from an edge (to provide
>sufficiently buffered interior habitat), and 3) contain
>at least one 200 hectare (500 acre) forest patch that
>is at least 500 meters on all sides.  Additionally,
>forest corridors should be at least 100 meters wide.
>       The guidelines are intriguing when they are viewed
>in two ways, as restoration goals where natural systems
>have already been lost or altered, and also as
>parameters to guide conservation planning where natural
>systems are more intact.  In fact, while the report
>includes physical design information for the how-tos of
>wetland and stream restoration/reconstruction where
>systems have already been destroyed, it also stresses
>the importance of preserving the remaining natural
>systems where they are.
>       According to Brian McHatie, project coordinator for
>the CWS, the guidelines are derived from the best
>available data on what is necessary to protect resource
>structure and quality and to provide adequate habitat
>for a majority of diverse species.  For example, the
>240 meter upland buffer, which dwarfs buffers commonly
>applied in the United States and Canada, is based on
>providing adequate cover for species that require
>upland and wetland habitats.  Smaller buffers are known
>to lead to increased predation and low reproductive
>success for species such as waterfowl and turtles.  The
>buffer is also consistent with optimal structure for
>sediment and nutrient removal.  For forest cover, the
>guidelines are developed to improve "urban" forests,
>not to create fully-functioning wildlands.  They are
>designed to provide habitat in sizes large enough to
>support a majority of expected forest interior bird
>species, but are not designed for restoring particular,
>highly sensitive birds or to provide adequate habitat
>for forest interior mammals, which would likely require
>coordination on a multi-watershed scale.  The report
>does however encourage broader visions across
>       While the guidelines were designed for 16 Canadian
>AOC's, the crossover applicability to the U.S. AOCs and
>for urban/agricultural watershed planning in general is
>apparent.  The report includes numerous case studies
>illustrating how the guidelines have been applied in
>various AOC watersheds to date and how GIS systems have
>aided in that planning.  It also includes a
>bibliography of the referenced studies.  As a lengthy
>color document, only a limited number of copies have
>been printed and are largely reserved for distribution
>to Ontario municipal planners.  An 8-page color summary
>document is being prepared for wider distribution this
>August.  In the meantime, there is a possibility that
>the document could be made available on-line.  GLU
>would also be happy to photocopy portions of the text.
>Contact GLU or Brian McHatie at 905-540-1441.
>                             FIRES
>GL Habitat Watch is produced by GLU's Biodiversity and
>Habitat Protection Task Force. The task force is
>committed to protecting natural areas, resources and
>strong conservation laws in the face of "wise use"
>efforts.   Please send stories to Andy Frank via phone:
>(716) 886-0142; fax: (716) 886-0303; or e-mail:
>andy at glu.org.

Michelle Miller
UWEX-Sustainable Agriculture Task Force
FAX  262-5217
mmmille6 at facstaff.wisc.edu


Home Office 608/255-1503
Home Fax     608/255-5885

Wyatt Fraas, Martin Kleinschmit

Beginning Farmer Sustainable Agriculture Project
Center for Rural Affairs
PO Box 736
Hartington, NE USA 68739
402 254-6893  fax -6891
wyattf at cfra.org, martink at cfra.org

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