Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Decision support tools to support adaptive management of Salish Sea restoration efforts

Description

We developed a set of tools to provide decision support for community-based salmon recovery planning in Salish Sea watersheds. Here we describe how these tools are being integrated and applied in collaboration with Puget Sound tribes and community stakeholders to address restoration of hydrological and ecological processes critical to salmon recovery, and more broadly, to the functioning of entire watersheds and the ecosystem services they provide. For ongoing case studies in the Nisqually River and Tolt River watersheds in Washington, we are using a spatially-distributed watershed simulator – VELMA (Visualizing Ecosystem Land Management Assessments) – to quantify long-term effects of alternative forest management and climate scenarios on key salmon habitat variables, including peak and low flows, in-stream wood, fine sediment in spawning beds, and riparian condition. Stream temperature will be simulated using Penumbra, a new stream shade and temperature model that is being integrated with VELMA. VELMA/Penumbra stream habitat outputs will be used to drive the EDT (Ecosystem Diagnosis and Treatment) fish habitat model to simulate habitat potential and salmon population responses to the forest management and climate scenarios. A 3-D visualization tool (VISTAS; Cushing et al. 2009) is being used to summarize and communicate model outcomes in an intuitive way. An important goal of the case studies is to identify community-based best management practices for mitigating and adapting to projected changes in climate. For example, where and what kinds of in-stream, riparian and upland restoration practices will be most effective for improving cold water refuges, spawning and rearing habitat, and hydrologic flow regimes (higher summer flows and lower peak flows)? Model results are also being used to help address other community concerns, such as the establishment of a Nisqually Community Forest that sustainably supports forest-sector jobs, recreation and tourism.

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Integrated decision support tools for Puget Sound salmon recovery planning

2016SSEC

We developed a set of tools to provide decision support for community-based salmon recovery planning in Salish Sea watersheds. Here we describe how these tools are being integrated and applied in collaboration with Puget Sound tribes and community stakeholders to address restoration of hydrological and ecological processes critical to salmon recovery, and more broadly, to the functioning of entire watersheds and the ecosystem services they provide. For ongoing case studies in the Nisqually River and Tolt River watersheds in Washington, we are using a spatially-distributed watershed simulator – VELMA (Visualizing Ecosystem Land Management Assessments) – to quantify long-term effects of alternative forest management and climate scenarios on key salmon habitat variables, including peak and low flows, in-stream wood, fine sediment in spawning beds, and riparian condition. Stream temperature will be simulated using Penumbra, a new stream shade and temperature model that is being integrated with VELMA. VELMA/Penumbra stream habitat outputs will be used to drive the EDT (Ecosystem Diagnosis and Treatment) fish habitat model to simulate habitat potential and salmon population responses to the forest management and climate scenarios. A 3-D visualization tool (VISTAS; Cushing et al. 2009) is being used to summarize and communicate model outcomes in an intuitive way. An important goal of the case studies is to identify community-based best management practices for mitigating and adapting to projected changes in climate. For example, where and what kinds of in-stream, riparian and upland restoration practices will be most effective for improving cold water refuges, spawning and rearing habitat, and hydrologic flow regimes (higher summer flows and lower peak flows)? Model results are also being used to help address other community concerns, such as the establishment of a Nisqually Community Forest that sustainably supports forest-sector jobs, recreation and tourism.