Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Protect and Restore Deer Creek Watershed Nez Perce Tribe Fisheries/Watershed BPA Project #28044.

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Slide 1Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Protect and Restore Deer Creek Watershed Nez Perce Tribe Fisheries/Watershed BPA Project #28044 Slide 2 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed The Proposal: Protect and Restore Deer Creek Watershed Overall Project Goal: Restore ecosystem functions in Deer Creek Watershed to increase and stabilize key species Restore ecosystem functions in Deer Creek Watershed to increase and stabilize key species Slide 3 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed The Proposal: Protect and Restore Deer Creek Watershed Project Objectives: Fence cattle out of 9 miles of creek Fence cattle out of 9 miles of creek Complete watershed analysis to identify fine scale, site specific problems Complete watershed analysis to identify fine scale, site specific problems Recommend restoration actions. Recommend restoration actions. Slide 4 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Deer Creek Watershed Elevations range from 1,080 feet at the mouth to 5,000 feet at the headwaters The watershed is 25,618 acres in size, and extends approximately 17 miles north to the headwater areas within the Craig Mountains. Drainages in lower portions of the watershed are deeply incised with near vertical canyon walls, while those in upland areas are less confined and bordered by wide floodplains Slide 5 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Slide 6 Land ownership 12,774 acres (50%) Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) 7,049 acres (27%) Nez Perce Tribe (NPT), 3,673 acres (14%) private 1, 161 acres (4%) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and 961 acres (3%) Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) Slide 7 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Current land use impacts The land use impacts in the watershed include grazing, timber harvest, and roads. Livestock grazing has been restricted on the majority of the lands in the drainage since 1992. Livestock grazing in the upper watershed still continues and is contributing to bank instability, riparian damage, soil compaction, and nutrification (Rabe 2001, unpublished data) Slide 8 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Characterization of the watershed The headwater areas of Deer Creek have been logged and roaded. In 1967, the Eagle Creek fire burned a majority of the watershed, which was subsequently salvage logged (USDI-BLM 2000). Sedimentation from roads is most problematic in the upper portions of the drainage. Estimated road density throughout the watershed is 1-3 miles/mi 2. Slide 9 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Characterization of the watershed The combined effects of grazing, roading, and timber harvest have impaired water quality in Deer Creek. In 1998, Deer Creek was listed by the State of Idaho as impaired under section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act for sediment. Slide 10 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Characterization of the watershed ESA-listed steelhead documented in lower four miles of Deer Creek Rearing habitat for juvenile spring/summer chinook salmon in lower reaches Resident redband/rainbow trout (sympatric), upper limits to distribution are unknown Subadult/adult fluvial forms of bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout may occupy lower reaches Brook trout most prolific above stream mile 7.0 Slide 11 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Limiting factors-upper watershed Habitat surveys near the confluence with the West Fork Deer Creek documented low canopy cover, a low pool to riffle ratio, poor width:depth ratio, macroinvertebrate biotic integrity, and the lowest habitat index scores of the four streams studied (China Creek, Eagle Creek, and Wapshilla Creek) sampled (Rabe 1994, unpublished data). Slide 12 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Limiting factors-- upstream from stream mile 7.0 excessive sediment deposition, high summer water temperatures, poor instream cover : A lack of high-quality pool habitat (USI-BLM 2000; Rabe 2001, unpublished data; Rabe 1994, unpublished data): Slide 13 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Limiting factors in lower watershed Water quality Water quality Slide 14 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Early Construction Activities Exclusion fencing for cattle along approximately 9 miles miles of mainstem and tributary riparian area. Exclusion fencing for cattle along approximately 9 miles miles of mainstem and tributary riparian area. Most of this area includes lush wetlands currently disturbed by grazing. Most of this area includes lush wetlands currently disturbed by grazing. Collapsed and unstable streambanks and riparian vegetation is either missing or greatly reduced. Collapsed and unstable streambanks and riparian vegetation is either missing or greatly reduced. Some recruitment of native vegetation is occurring is that is notably stunted because of grazing. Some recruitment of native vegetation is occurring is that is notably stunted because of grazing. Build 3 miles of fence each year for three years Build 3 miles of fence each year for three years Slide 15 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Future activities Active revegetation of the riparian area will be delayed until natural recovery can be gauged. Active revegetation of the riparian area will be delayed until natural recovery can be gauged. Several sections of the mainstem in the upper watershed may need to be reconfigured Several sections of the mainstem in the upper watershed may need to be reconfigured These sections will not be included in the first three years of fencing until their hydrology has been analyzed. These sections will not be included in the first three years of fencing until their hydrology has been analyzed. Slide 16 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Why start with an EAWS? Significant data gaps and missing analyses. Watershed, fish and wildlife habitat databases are now outdated. Comprehensive temperature data and analyses are insufficient. Hydrologic, riparian, and channel processes need to be investigated in some detail. Slide 17 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Why start with an EAWS? The knowledge of disturbance patterns needs to be strengthened. Data on sensitive plants, noxious weeds, and vegetative response units requires updating. Studies and analyses to date have lacked an adequate ecosystem perspective. Inventories of logging roads and mining claims require updating. Slide 18 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Why start with an EAWS? No consensus on next steps No consensus on next steps Slide 19 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Project Objectives: Conduct a fine scale analysis to describe past and current conditions in the watershed Conduct a fine scale analysis to describe past and current conditions in the watershed Prioritize critical areas for restoration and/or protection Prioritize critical areas for restoration and/or protection Provide a means by which the watershed can be understood as an ecological system Provide a means by which the watershed can be understood as an ecological system Improve resolution of the Salmon subbasin summary and assessment Improve resolution of the Salmon subbasin summary and assessment Slide 20 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Project Strategies: Spend one year in data collection efforts Spend one year in data collection efforts Slide 21 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Project Strategies: Spend one year in data collection efforts Spend one year in data collection efforts Spend one year drafting the EAWS Spend one year drafting the EAWS Slide 22 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Project Strategies: Spend one year in data collection efforts Spend one year in data collection efforts Spend one year drafting the EAWS Spend one year drafting the EAWS Work cooperatively with: Work cooperatively with: Nez Perce Tribe Nez Perce Tribe IDFG IDFG IDL IDL BLM BLM Private landowners Private landowners Slide 23 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Thank you. May I answer any questions? Slide 24 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Project Strategies: EAWS six-step process EAWS six-step process Characterization of the watershed Characterization of the watershed Slide 25 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Project Strategies: EAWS six-step process- Characterization of the watershed Characterization of the watershed Identification of issues and key questions Identification of issues and key questions Slide 26 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Project Strategies: EAWS six-step process- Characterization of the watershed Characterization of the watershed Identification of issues and key questions Identification of issues and key questions Description of current conditions Description of current conditions Slide 27 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Project Strategies: EAWS six-step process- Characterization of the watershed Characterization of the watershed Identification of Issues and key questions Identification of Issues and key questions Description of current conditions Description of current conditions Description of reference conditions Description of reference conditions Slide 28 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Project Strategies: EAWS six-step process- Characterization of the watershed Characterization of the watershed Identification of issues and key questions Identification of issues and key questions Description of current conditions Description of current conditions Description of reference conditions Description of reference conditions Interpretation of information Interpretation of information Slide 29 Protect and restore Deer Creek watershed Project Strategies: EAWS six-step process- Characterization of the watershed Characterization of the watershed Identification of issues and key questions Identification of issues and key questions Description of current conditions Description of current conditions Description of reference conditions Description of reference conditions Interpretation of information Interpretation of information Recommendations Recommendations

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