National Park Service

Upper Columbia Basin Network (UCBN)

Riparian Condition Monitoring

Jim Ford Creek at Weippe Prairie, Nez Perce NHP
Jim Ford Creek at Weippe Prairie, Nez Perce NHP

Riparian Condition Monitoring Resource Briefs

Riparian Plant Inventory Reports

Riparian Condition & Stream Channel Characteristics Monitoring Reports

Riparian Condition Monitoring Protocol & Procedures

For more information contact: Eric Starkey

Parks to Be Monitored

Importance / Issues

  • Riparian vegetation communities have been identified by several Network parks as being a significant resource. Riparian communities support unique plant and animal species and provide important ecological services.
  • Throughout the Network these communities have been substantially altered by historic land use, invasive/exotic plants, development, and other impacts. In many areas, wholesale shifts in riparian plant communities have taken place and are now largely dominated by invasive exotic species.
  • Abundance and composition of riparian vegetation species and communities are fundamental and easily measurable attributes that additionally address objectives related to the invasive/exotic plants vital sign.
  • Because of the three-dimensional nature of riparian ecosystems and the inextricable relationship between riparian vegetation and stream channel morphology, field efforts will be coordinated closely with the Network's stream channel characteristics vital sign.

Monitoring Objectives

  • Determine the status of riparian condition, as measured by greenline and channel cross-section wetland ratings (i.e., obligate wetland riparian plant species cover), effective ground cover, and greenline woody vegetation cover for selected wadeable stream reaches in BIHO, CIRO, JODA, NEPE, and WHMI.
  • Determine the direction and magnitude of change over time for obligate wetland riparian plant species cover, effective ground cover, and woody vegetation cover, and establish whether those changes reflect impacts from management or land use activities in BIHO, CIRO, JODA, NEPE, and WHMI.
  • Determine the condition of riparian zones along selected wadeable UCBN stream reaches, relative to PIBO sample reaches in the same watershed.
  • Determine the status and trend in the cover of non-native invasive plant species (e.g., Acroptilon repens) found along UCBN streams, as estimated from PIBO sample reaches.
  • Determine if changes in stream channels, specifically bank erosion, are likely to negatively impact cultural resources within the floodplain at BIHO.

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Last Updated: April 05, 2017 Contact Webmaster