Kickstarting Natural Processes to Restore the West's Precious Wet Habitats
Loss and degradation of riparian areas and wet meadows reduces overall rangeland resilience to drought, fire, and flooding.
Loss and degradation of riparian areas and wet meadows reduces overall rangeland resilience to drought, fire, and flooding. WLFW’s Framework seeks to protect intact but vulnerable riparian areas and wet meadows through targeted easements and restoration.
WLFW’s approach for tackling this threat prioritizes protection and early intervention to maintain and enhance vulnerable wet habitats over intensive restoration of highly degraded areas such as streams and meadows that are deeply incised and lack floodplain connectivity.
Low-tech, Process-based Restoration
With our partners, WLFW is helping lead innovative, cost-effective wet meadow, river, and stream restoration.
Inexpensive, low-tech tools—namely Zeedyk structures in wet meadows, and beaver dam analogues (BDAs) and post-assisted log structures (PALS) in streams and creeks—help initiate initiating process-based restoration in these critically important ecosystems.
The maps below enable practitioners to rapidly visualize and analyze opportunities for threat reduction. Local maps and data should also be incorporated, where available, to refine conservation delivery.
These maps provide annual percent cover estimates from 1984 to present of: annual forbs and grasses, perennial forbs and grasses, shrubs, trees, and bare ground. The data can be used to assess biotic conditions to inform management actions and monitor vegetation through time. Annual forb and grass maps provide a useful surrogate for exotic annuals, allowing managers to understand fluctuations through time and track management outcomes. Perennial forb and grass maps can help managers determine if restoration seeding is needed following disturbance or annual grass control.
These maps provide annual and 16-day aboveground biomass from 1986 to present of: annual forbs and grasses, perennial forbs and grasses, and herbaceous (combination of annual and perennial forbs and grasses). Estimates represent accumulated new biomass throughout the year or 16-day period and do not include biomass accumulation in previous years. The data can be used to assess fine fuels affecting fire cycles and forage availability. Annual forb and grass maps provide a useful surrogate for exotic annuals, allowing managers to understand fluctuations through time and track management outcomes.