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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Bach, Andrew J.

Second Advisor

Berardi, Gigi M.

Third Advisor

Gilles, John A., 1947-


Anadromous salmon populations of the Pacific Northwest have been decreasing for decades in response to a variety of factors, such as habitat destruction, overharvesting, and declining water quality. In Washington State's Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 1, the State Conservation Commission listed the habitat limiting factors for salmon and steelhead as: sedimentation problems associated with landslides, overharvesting, lack of large woody debris, warmer stream temperatures, and impacts to riparian, floodplain, water quality, and flow conditions. The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) addresses habitat limiting factors associated with agricultural land use. CREP projects involve the installation of forested riparian buffers along anadromous steams in agricultural areas while providing farmers with financial assistance to compensate for lost production. CREP projects are designed to provide a variety of ecological benefits, such as large woody debris recruitment potential, stream shading and cooling, and pollutant and sediment trapping. The program could have more impact if enrollment is targeted towards watersheds that show the most potential to gain ecological benefits from CREP buffers. The primary objective of this research is to target WRIA 1 watersheds for CREP enrollment using water quality, salmon habitat, and soil data criteria within a Geographic Information System (GIS) framework. The goal of the research is to provide a targeted approach to CREP enrollment that addresses both salmon habitat limiting factors and soil conservation planning. The results of this study show that Silver, Bertrand, Johnson, Ten Mile, Schell, Deer, Black Slough, Breckenridge, California, and Lower South Fork Nooksack watersheds show the most potential to benefit from increased CREP enrollments.




Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Digital Format


Geographic Coverage

Whatcom County (Wash.)


Academic theses




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