U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
IDAHO | Rangeland Management
Watersheds help maintain ecological function by properly filtering, retaining, and releasing water as appropriate to soil type, vegetation, climate and landform.
|Functioning riparian-wetland areas control erosion, stabilize streambanks & shorelines, shade water areas to reduce their temperature, filter sediment, and help recharge groundwater.|
At left | The stream channel has narrowed and deepened compared with conditions observed earlier at the site. Restored vegetation on the streambank holds soil in place, which in turn dissipates the energy of flowing water, especially during high flow events (flooding and spring snowmelt).
Stream channels and floodplains dissipate the energy of high water flows and transport sediment. Healthy stream/floodplain areas allow water to move as they filter sediment and store water.
At left | Compared with conditions observed at the site previously, aspen trees have regenerated, ground cover has increased, and channel characteristics have improved. This photo was taken during the 2006 grazing season, three years after riparian management practices were put in place.
Native plant communities ensure proper ecologic function and continued productivity and diversity of native vegetation. Adequate litter and standing dead plant material protect the site and replenish soil nutrients.
At left | Native forbs (flowering plants) and grasses are present with few (if any) invasive weeds. Sagebrush, balsamroot and other natives are well-established and productive, serving as habitat and food for native wildlife.
Rangelands that have been seeded - to stabilize an area after wildfire, for example - may function to maintain ecological diversity, productivity and habitat for native species when meeting this Standard.
At left | In this healthy seeding, perennial species are not diminishing, noxious weeds are not increasing, and litter and standing dead plant material protect the site and are decomposing to replenish soil nutrients.
Where exotic (non-native) plants are present, soils are stable and native and seeded plants are holding against invasives until perennial native vegetation can be rehabilitated.
At left | Native plants are numerous and vigorous enough to reproduce and maintain a viable native community, despite the presence of some exotic vegetation.
Native fish and amphibians need particular water temperatures and sediment loads to utilize a stream or lake as habitat.
At left | This waterway meets physical, chemical and biologic parameters established by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality's water quality standards.
Conservation of wildlife habitat naturally accompanies healthy ecological conditions, but having a Standard specific to sensitive wildlife acknowledges the additional statutory, regulatory and policy responsibilities associated with managing plants and animals that are threatened or endangered.