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Top Ten Resources

Top Ten Resources

  • Stream Channel Reference Sites: An illustrated guide to field technique (Harrelson et al. 1994) - USDA Forest Service
     
    This document is a guide to establishing permanent reference sites for gathering data about the physical characteristics of streams and rivers. The minimum procedure consists of the following: (1) select a site, (2) map the site and location, (3) measure the channel cross-section, (4) survey a longitudinal profile of the channel, (5) measure streamflow, (6) measure bed material, and (7) permanently file the information with the Vigil network. The document includes basic surveying techniques, provides guidelines for identifying bankfull indicators and measuring other important stream characteristics. The object is to establish the baseline of existing physical conditions for the stream channel. With this foundation, changes in the character of streams can be quantified for monitoring purposes or to support other management decisions.
  • This manual is intended to assist both the experienced revegetation professional as well as a landowner new to revegetation. It was developed through a synthesis of the best current research combined with experience from actual project managers in the Upper Colorado River Basin. The organization and recommendations of this manual generally follow the 7-step process recommended for tamarisk projects (defining a goal, establish a realistic restoration objective, prioritize and select sites, create site-specific restoration plan, implement plan, conduct post-project monitoring, and engage adaptive management). 
     
    This manual can be purchased from Dr. Anna Sher, via her website.
  • Written by 44 of the field's most prominent scholars and scientists, this volume compiles 25 essays on tamarisk--its biology, ecology, politics, management, and the ethical issues involved with designating a particular species as "good" or "bad". The book analyzes the controversy surrounding tamarisk's role in our ecosystems and what should be done about it.

     

  • This field guide serves as the U.S. Forest Service's recommendations for management of tamarisk in the Southwestern US. 

  • This field guide serves as the U.S. Forest Service's recommendations for management of Russian olive in forests, woodlands, and rangelands associated with its Southwestern Region. 

  • Bringing Birds Home is a manual that describes how to proactively improve riparian habitat for bird species in Mesa County, Colorado.  

    This guide was made possible by a grant from the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies and was produced by RiversEdge West, with help from the Grand Valley Audubon Society, Tucson Audubon Society, and Audubon Arizona.

     
  • This document lists, by topic, peer-reviewed journal articles pertaining to riparian restoration, invasive species, and related research. 

  •  
    Prepared by the RiversEdge West (formerly Tamarisk Coalition) in 2008, this document addresses options for the control, biomass reduction, and revegetation management components. All currently available technologies have been evaluated; however, not all are applicable for a given river location. Tamarisk is the focus of this document’s control component because it is the principle non-native phreatophyte in western watersheds. In general, the following discussion applies to Russian olive and other invasive trees but may differ slightly for each (e.g., herbicide used).
     
  • Abstract:  Throughout the world, the condition of many riparian ecosystems has declined due to numerous factors, including encroachment of non-native species. In the western United States, millions of dollars are spent annually to control invasions of Tamarix spp., introduced small trees or shrubs from Eurasia that have colonized bottomland ecosystems along many rivers. Resource managers seek to control Tamarix in attempts to meet various objectives, such as increasing water yield and improving wildlife habitat. Often, riparian restoration is an implicit goal, but there has been little emphasis on a process or principles to effectively plan restoration activities, and many Tamarix removal projects are unsuccessful at restoring native vegetation. We propose and summarize the key steps in a planning process aimed at developing effective restoration projects in Tamarix-dominated areas. We discuss in greater detail the biotic and abiotic factors central to the evaluation of potential restoration sites and summarize information about plant communities likely to replace Tamarix under various conditions. Although many projects begin with implementation, which includes the actual removal of Tamarix, we stress the importance of pre-project planning that includes: (1) clearly identifying project goals; (2) developing realistic project objectives based on a detailed evaluation of site conditions; (3) prioritizing and selecting Tamarix control sites with the best chance of ecological recovery; and (4) developing a detailed tactical plan before Tamarix is removed. After removal, monitoring and maintenance as part of an adaptive management approach are crucial for evaluating project success and determining the most effective methods for restoring these challenging sites.

  • Siberian elm is common to southwestern states and is listed as a noxious tree in New Mexico. This field guide serves as the U.S. Forest Service’s recommendations for management of Siberian elm in forests, woodlands, and rangelands associated with its Southwestern Region. 
  • A Guide to Enhancing Rivers, Streams and Desert Washes for Birds and Other Wildlife.

    Produced by Tucson Audubon Society, Audubon Arizona, and Arizona Game and Fish.

  • Bioengineering practices provide resiliency for streambanks, enhance wildlife habitat, enhance organic matter inputs to streams, improve water quality, increase floodplain roughness, and heighten landscape aesthetics so important to countless residents, visitors, and businesses. Accordingly, the authors have created the following manuscript to:
    • Provide guidelines for a comprehensive bioengineering strategy;
    • Incorporate design elements that impart site stability and resilience;
    • Include project recommendations that minimize risk during periods of vulnerability;
    • Increase understanding of how to properly apply bioengineering and revegetation techniques;
    • Provide background resources on the combined forces of water and gravity as they pertain to bioengineered structures; and
    • Create a searchable Revegetation Matrix for the primary native restoration species useful for flood recovery and other riparian areas throughout Colorado.
  • This groundbreaking new publication from the Society for Ecological Restoration provides updated and expanded guidance on the practice of ecological restoration, clarifies the breadth of ecological restoration and allied environmental repair activities, and includes ideas and input from a diverse international group of restoration scientists and practitioners.

  • Our rivers are in crisis and the need for river restoration has never been more urgent. Water security and biodiversity indices for all of the world’s major rivers have declined due to pollution, diversions, impoundments, fragmented flows, introduced and invasive species, and many other abuses.
     
    Developing successful restoration responses are essential. Renewing Our Rivers addresses this need head-on with examples of how to design and implement stream-corridor restoration projects. Based on the experiences of seasoned professionals, Renewing Our Rivers provides stream restoration practitioners the main steps to develop successful and viable stream restoration projects that last.
     
    Ecologists, geomorphologists, and hydrologists from dryland regions of Australia, Mexico, and the United States share case studies and key lessons learned for successful restoration and renewal of our most vital resource. The aim of this guidebook is to offer essential restoration guidance that allows a start-to-finish overview of what it takes to bring back a damaged stream corridor. Chapters cover planning, such emerging themes as climate change and environmental flow, the nuances of implementing restoration tactics, and monitoring restoration results. Renewing Our Rivers provides community members, educators, students, natural resource practitioners, experts, and scientists broader perspectives on how to move the science of restoration to practical success.
     
     
  • Tree-of-heaven is an invasive tree in southwestern states that has been listed as a noxious weed in New Mexico. This field guide serves as the U.S. Forest Service’s recommendations for management of tree-of-heaven in forests, woodlands, and riparian areas associated with its Southwestern Region.

  •  University of Arizona Press, Briggs, M.K. and W.R. Osterkamp. 2020
     
     
    This guidebook builds on what came before, developing it as both a guidance 'how to' as well as a reference. Where restoration topics are well-documented and well-traveled, we offer references. Where not, we offer detailed guidance on how to develop a stream restoration response start to finish.
     
  • From Natural to Degraded Rivers and Back Again: A test of restoration ecology theory and practice (Feld et al. 2011); in Advances in Ecological Research - Elsevier Press.
     
     
    Summary
    Extensive degradation of ecosystems, combined with the increasing demands placed on the goods and services they provide, is a major driver of biodiversity loss on a global scale. In particular, the severe degradation of large rivers, their catchments, floodplains and lower estuarine reaches has been ongoing for many centuries, and the consequences are evident across Europe. River restoration is a relatively recent tool that has been brought to bear in attempts to reverse the effects of habitat simplification and ecosystem degradation, with a surge of projects undertaken in the 1990s in Europe and elsewhere, mainly North America. Here, we focus on restoration of the physical properties (e.g. substrate composition, bank and bed structure) of river ecosystems to ascertain what has, and what has not, been learned over the last 20 years.
     
    First, we focus on three common types of restoration measures—riparian buffer management, instream mesohabitat enhancement and the removal of weirs and small dams—to provide a structured overview of the literature. We distinguish between abiotic effects of restoration (e.g. increasing habitat diversity) and biological recovery (e.g. responses of algae, macrophytesmacroinvertebrates and fishes).
     
    We then addressed four major questions: (i) Which organisms show clear recovery after restoration? (ii) Is there evidence for qualitative linkages between restoration and recovery? (iii) What is the timescale of recovery? and (iv) What are the reasons, if restoration fails?
     
    Overall, riparian buffer zones reduced fine sediment entry, and nutrient and pesticide inflows, and positive effects on stream organisms were evident. Buffer width and length were key: 5–30 m width and > 1 km length were most effective. The introduction of large woody debris, boulders and gravel were the most commonly used restoration measures, but the potential positive effects of such local habitat enhancement schemes were often likely to be swamped by larger-scale geomorphological and physico-chemical effects. Studies demonstrating long-term biological recovery due to habitat enhancement were notable by their absence. In contrast, weir removal can have clear beneficial effects, although biological recovery might lag behind for several years, as huge amounts of fine sediment may have accumulated upstream of the former barrier.
     
    Three Danish restoration schemes are provided as focal case studies to supplement the literature review and largely supported our findings. While the large-scale re-meandering and re-establishment of water levels at River Skjern resulted in significant recovery of riverine biota, habitat enhancement schemes at smaller-scales in other rivers were largely ineffective and failed to show long-term recovery.
     
    The general lack of knowledge derived from integrated, well-designed and long-term restoration schemes is striking, and we present a conceptual framework to help address this problem. The framework was applied to the three restoration types included in our study and highlights recurrent cause–effect chains, that is, commonly observed relationships of restoration measures (cause) and their effects on abiotic and biotic conditions (effect). Such conceptual models can provide useful new tools for devising more effective river restoration, and for identifying avenues for future research in restoration ecology in general.
  •  
     
    Overview:
     
    Our rivers are in crisis and the need for river restoration has never been more urgent. Water security and biodiversity indices for all of the world’s major rivers have declined due to pollution, diversions, impoundments, fragmented flows, introduced and invasive species, and many other abuses.
     
    Developing successful restoration responses are essential. Renewing Our Rivers addresses this need head-on with examples of how to design and implement stream-corridor restoration projects. Based on the experiences of seasoned professionals, Renewing Our Rivers provides stream restoration practitioners the main steps to develop successful and viable stream restoration projects that last. Ecologists, geomorphologists, and hydrologists from dryland regions of Australia, Mexico, and the United States share case studies and key lessons learned for successful restoration and renewal of our most vital resource.
     
    The aim of this guidebook is to offer essential restoration guidance that allows a start-to-finish overview of what it takes to bring back a damaged stream corridor. Chapters cover planning, such emerging themes as climate change and environmental flow, the nuances of implementing restoration tactics, and monitoring restoration results. Renewing Our Rivers provides community members, educators, students, natural resource practitioners, experts, and scientists broader perspectives on how to move the science of restoration to practical success.
     
  • Abstract
    Fifteen federal agencies are developing a of stream corridor restoration planning and design technology document to serve as a common reference for field resource managers and other technical specialists. Offering a scientific perspective, the document will emphasize least intrusive solutions that are ecologically derived and self sustaining.
     
  • Stream Hydrology: An introduction for Ecologists (Gordon et al. 2004) - John Wiley & Sons.
     
     
    Since the publication of the first edition (1994) there have been rapid developments in the application of hydrology, geomorphology and ecology to stream management. In particular, growth has occurred in the areas of stream rehabilitation and the evaluation of environmental flow needs. The concept of stream health has been adopted as a way of assessing stream resources and setting management goals.

    Stream Hydrology: An Introduction for Ecologists Second Edition documents recent research and practice in these areas. Chapters provide information on sampling, field techniques, stream analysis, the hydrodynamics of moving water, channel form, sediment transport and commonly used statistical methods such as flow duration and flood frequency analysis. Methods are presented from engineering hydrology, fluvial geomorphology and hydraulics with examples of their biological implications. This book demonstrates how these fields are linked and utilised in modern, scientific river management.

    * Emphasis on applications, from collecting and analysing field measurements to using data and tools in stream management.
    * Updated to include new sections on environmental flows, rehabilitation, measuring stream health and stream classification.
    * Critical reviews of the successes and failures of implementation.
    * Revised and updated windows-based AQUAPAK software.

    This book is essential reading for 2nd/3rd year undergraduates and postgraduates of hydrology, stream ecology and fisheries science in Departments of Physical Geography, Biology, Environmental Science, Landscape Ecology, Environmental Engineering and Limnology. It would be valuable reading for professionals working in stream ecology, fisheries science and habitat management, environmental consultants and engineers.

     
     

Databases & Clearinghouses

  • Free public access to digital collections of significant primary and secondary resources on water in the western United States.
     
  • This is a list of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters authored by The Nature Conservancy staff, including links to pdf versions where available.

  • The Desert Flows Database is a compilation of over 400 peer-reviewed articles, reports, and book chapters from across the watersheds that touch the Sonoran, Chihuahua, and Mojave Deserts. Funding for this project was provided by the Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC). Information about environmental water needs within the database come from many sources – studies done for the express purpose of answering questions about flow needs as well as studies performed for other purposes that have minimal reference to environmental water needs.  As of 01/2016, the Desert Flows Database contains data through 07/2015.  The database contains tabular data that can be linked to geospatial data on river segments studied. To download the database and guide to using the database fill out the form below.  For questions about the database please contact grantw@email.arizona.edu.

  • The Water Resources Research Center at the University of Arizona tackles key water policy and management issues, empowers informed decision-making, and enriches understanding through engagement, education, 
    and applied research.
  • American Rivers has created a series of resources designed to empower federal and state agency staff, engineering design firms and other consultants, and nonprofit organizations (collectively, river restoration practitioners) with the tools, skills, and understanding necessary to restore damaged rivers. Explore our series of videos, fact sheets, and reports to learn more about removing dams, replacing culverts, and restoring floodplains.

  • This website, which is sponsored by the Colorado Native Plant Master Program, is designed to help people find research-based information about plants that grow in the wilds of Colorado. Plants can be searched for by name, specific characteristics, and blooming season. 

  • The Rocky Mountain Avian Data Center and Partners in Flight Databases can be accessed from this website

  • Through this webinar portal you can stay up-to-date with the latest research and industry practices in forestry, conservation, bioenergy, climate change and natural resources. Most of the user friendly webinars provide the opportunity to accrue continuing education credits, from professional accrediting organizations such as Society of American Foresters, International Society of Arboriculture, The Wildlife Society, Certified Crop Advisors, and others. You can receive continuing education credits for select live and on-demand webinars, which makes refreshing your knowledge on natural resource topics from your desktop fast, economical, and easy.
     
    The webinar portal is a service of the Southern Regional Extension Forestry Office, North Carolina State University's Extension Forest Resources, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, other participating land-grant universities, the USDA, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the USDA Forest Service, and the USDA Northeast Climate Hub.
  • The Nature Conservancy launched the Groundwater Resource Hub, the go-to resource on Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems. Please visit https://groundwaterresourcehub.org/ for information on GDEs and for tools that can help you save time and money as you develop Groundwater Sustainability Plans.  This website features: 
    • The best available science in a straightforward format
    • Interactive animations that tell the story of GDEs and their relationship to groundwater
    • A step-by-step guidance document to efficiently identify and consider GDEs under SGMA
    • Identification of all SGMA provisions related to GDEs
    • Case studies providing real-world examples of processes, tools and techniques related to GDEs and sustainable groundwater management
    • A library of links to additional papers, articles and reference materials related to GDEs and sustainable groundwater management
  • This website provides links to past webinars hosted by the Conservation Biology Institute. Topics are wide ranging. 

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