Riparian Ecosystem Restoration Effectiveness Framework

Scientific Publications

Data

Produced by 2NDNATURE, River Run Consulting, and Environmental Incentives, LLC

Executive Summary

2NDNATURE, River Run Consulting and Environmental Incentives collaborated on the completion of a SNPLMA Round 8 research grant (original proposal attached as Appendix A) to focus and improve the quality of stream restoration effectiveness evaluations in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The research team coordinated and solicited feedback from a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) consisting of Lake Tahoe stream restoration practitioners from California State Parks, California Tahoe Conservancy, US Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (LRWQCB), Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and a design engineer consultant.

A preliminary Inventory (attached as Appendix B) of available documentation and effectiveness reports on riparian ecosystem restoration projects conducted to date (winter 2009) in the Lake Tahoe Basin led to the conclusion that the documentation of a clear process and format would greatly benefit the future development of riparian restoration effectiveness evaluations. The 2NDNATURE team developed a recommended Riparian Ecosystem Restoration broad goal statement and conceptual model to focus the Lake Tahoe Basin‐wide discussions. The Riparian Ecosystem Restoration and Effectiveness Framework (Framework) was developed to focus the process and improve the communications when stream restoration practitioners are implementing specific restoration projects. The Framework process is expected to simplify the summary of existing (impaired conditions), the development of testable restoration project objectives, improve the quality of restoration project monitoring strategies and actualize the adaptive management process. This document contains a number of specific recommendations and guidelines on how to improve the quality of protocol and metric selection, analysis and reporting to increase the confidence in effectiveness monitoring results. A completed channel realignment project in South Lake Tahoe is used as a hypothetical example riparian restoration project to illustrate the format and potential Framework content. The Framework development for future riparian restoration projects can build upon a number of the attributes, metrics and protocols recommended in the tangible example developed by the 2NDNATURE team. The final products of the Framework will increase consistency of the documentation of the restoration team intentions to interested parties many years following the completion of the restoration actions, thereby directly improving the availability and quality of the data and information available to make long‐term adaptive management decisions.