Road and forest management and restoration could have important effects on watershed function, in-stream habitat conditions and water quality. All are important objectives for Southwest Crown Collaborative (SWCC) Forest Landscape Restoration actions, but the effects of these actions are complex, uncertain and controversial.
Past monitoring has been limited and often inconsistent. Our efforts monitoring Morrell Creek and the Clearwater Valley lakes have shown that students and volunteers can collect high quality information at limited cost with the additional benefit of engaging and educating our community in natural resource issues. Building on that with funding through the SWCC we initiated a one-year project in 2013 to monitor 22 new streams in and around the Clearwater basin with help from local volunteers. In 2016, with funding from the Southwest Crown Collaborative and the U.S. Forest Service, we expanded the program to streams throughout the Clearwater Basin. Our broad goals were two fold: to gather important new information on the condition of our streams and their responses to watershed management and to engage citizen volunteers in efforts to learn and conserve their natural resources.
Reports resulting from monitoring efforts include: