Please join SAFS this Thursday for Dr. Phil Roni‘s seminar, entitled Effective Watershed Restoration: Guidance Based on Three Decades of Science.
Dr. Phil Roni, Research Biologist/Watershed Program Manager Northwest Fisheries Science Center, NOAA Fisheries
Thursday, May 30, 4:00-5:00 PM (social follows)
UW School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences
102 Fishery Sciences, 1122 NE Boat St, University of Washington
Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually to restore salmon habitat. Unfortunately, many of these well-intentioned efforts fail to meet their objectives because they ignore watershed processes or do not follow key steps needed to adequately plan, implement and evaluate restoration. Here I provide an overview of the key factors needed to plan restoration, assess watershed conditions, identify restoration actions, select and prioritize restoration techniques and evaluate restoration projects. I provide examples of successful methods, analysis or models used to address each of these key steps. Before assessing conditions or identifying restoration opportunities, it is important to have a clearly defined restoration or recovery goal. Assessment of watershed processes and habitat conditions should include assessment of potential and current rates or conditions, and identify the causes of habitat degradation and loss. In selecting appropriate restoration actions, it is important to be aware of whether the actions restore underlying processes or simply improve habitat as well as the longevity and likelihood of success. Several approaches exist for prioritizing restoration actions and these largely depend on goals of restoration. Monitoring of restoration projects needs to be designed well before the projects are implemented and have clear testable hypotheses and rigorous study design. Unfortunately, many monitoring programs fail not because of inadequate design, but because of poor implementation, quality control and management – all factors that can usually be overcome by diligent project management. The steps and considerations outlined above, if followed, will help assure that restoration actions are effective at restoring watersheds and recovering salmon populations.
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