Land managers, land management organizations, and public organizations will be developing a watershed management plan for the Hatwai, Pine, and Bedrock Creek watersheds in the year 2012. The plan is part of local efforts to improve water quality and fisheries habitat.
The plan will be developed in a manner similar to the Lapwai and Big Canyon Creek watershed plans. The processed used to develop the plan is a mixture of protocols from the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board watershed planning process.
The process involves the use of a technical team whose role is to evaluate relevant data and determine how best to apply it to the watershed plan. A landowner advisory group consisting of land owners and land managers within the watershed will review the information created by the technical team and advise on how best to achieve natural resource goals.
After inventory data is collected, the District will seek public input for a fresh look at natural resource needs within the watershed and to identify candidate projects.
Planning meetings will be scheduled throughout the winter of 2012 and early spring of 2013. If you are interested in participating, please contact the conservation district office.
Project Length: July 2010 to November 2013
The Clearwater River has numerous small-scale tributaries that were historically used for anadromous fish production of wild summer steelhead (threatened) and fall Chinook salmon (threatened). The Nez Perce Soil and Water Conservation District identified in their Resource Conservation Plan (NPSWCD, 2000) the need for stream condition data for 6 streams (including Bedrock, Jacks and Pine Creek) located in the Clearwater Subbasin Evolutionary Significant Unit (ESU) of wild summer steelhead, O. mykiss. The lack of information regarding stream condition and fish habitat suitability has prevented restoration activities in these streams.
Nez Perce County contains twenty-one streams that currently support federally listed anadromous salmonid species. Like many systems that support steelhead and salmon species in the Columbia River Basin (CRB), Nez Perce County has seen a significant decline in from historic levels. These significant losses of available habitat emphasize the importance of protecting and restoring the remaining available habitat.
This project is only a piece of the Nez Perce Soil and Water Conservation District’s overall mission to restore fish habitat and water quality to streams within the District boundaries. The goal of this project is to complete a watershed assessment and plan on Hatwai, Pine and Bedrock Creeks within the lower Clearwater River. Completion of this project will allow the NPSWCD and its cooperators to prioritize areas for restoration implementation and determine the effectiveness of installed practices.
- 60 miles of stream inventory
- Watershed Restoration Plan
Expected Results or Benefits:
The expected results include increased baseline data of habitat conditions and conservation needs, partial completion of data gaps identified in the Clearwater subbasin plan, identification of stream reaches needing restoration work, as well as identifying specific locations for future stream restoration projects. This data will assist the NPSWCD in prioritizing projects to be undertaken within the District’s boundary ultimately improving habitat conditions to benefit fish and wildlife.
The objectives will be obtained by using a combination of watershed planning methodologies outlined by the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service and the US-Environmental Protection Agency. Inventory will include physical characteristics of the watersheds. The majority of the work will be completed using remote sensing/GIS technologies. Representative sites within each watershed will be sampled using the NPSWCD Stream Assessment Methodology (SAM). SAM is a combination of several protocols including the Rosgen Stream Inventory Protocol (Rosgen et al 1996), Stream Visual Assessment Protocol (SVAP) (USDA NRCS 1998), Riparian Assessment (USDA NRCS 2004), and a Bio-Assessment Form (Oklahoma Conservation Commission (OCC) 1993).
The plans will be developed in a similar format to the Ecological Restoration Strategy in the Big Canyon Creek Watershed (2007).