Eugene Record of Decision and Resource Management Plan

Acronyms and Abbreviations

Eugene Record of Decision

Eugene District Resource Management Plan Table of Contents:

- Tables

- Maps

- Appendices

Aquatic Conservation Strategy


The Aquatic Conservation Strategy was developed to restore and maintain the ecological health of watersheds and aquatic ecosystems contained within them on public lands. The strategy will protect salmon and steelhead habitat on Federal lands managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

The Aquatic Conservation Strategy is designed to meet the following objectives:

  • Maintain and restore the distribution, diversity, and complexity of watershed and landscape-scale features to ensure protection of the aquatic systems to which species, populations, and communities are uniquely adapted.

  • Maintain and restore spatial and temporal connectivity within and between watersheds. Lateral, longitudinal, and drainage network connections include flood plains, wetlands, up slope areas, headwater tributaries, and intact refugia. These lineages must provide chemically and physically unobstructed routes to areas critical for fulfilling life history requirements of aquatic and riparian-dependent species.

  • Maintain and restore the physical integrity of the aquatic system, including shorelines, banks, and bottom configurations.

  • Maintain and restore water quality necessary to support healthy riparian, aquatic, and wetland ecosystems. Water quality must remain in the range that maintains the biological, physical, and chemical integrity of the system and benefits survival, growth, reproduction, and migration of individuals composing aquatic and riparian communities.

  • Maintain and restore the sediment regime under which an aquatic ecosystem evolved. Elements of the sediment regime include the timing, volume, rate, and character of sediment input, storage, and transport.

  • Maintain and restore in stream flows sufficient to create and sustain riparian, aquatic, and wetland habitats and to retain patterns of sediment, nutrient, and wood routing (i.e., movement of woody debris through the aquatic system). The timing, magnitude, duration, and spatial distribution of peak, high, and low flows must be protected.

  • Maintain and restore the timing, variability, and duration of flood plain inundation and water table elevation in meadows and wetlands.

  • Maintain and restore the species composition and structural diversity of plant communities in riparian zones and wetlands to provide adequate summer and winter thermal regulation, nutrient filtering, appropriate rates of surface erosion, bank erosion, and channel migration, and to supply amounts and distributions of coarse woody debris sufficient to sustain physical complexity and stability.

  • Maintain and restore habitat to support well-distributed populations of native plant, invertebrate, and vertebrate riparian-dependent species.

The components of the Aquatic Conservation Strategy are Riparian Reserves, Key Watersheds, Watershed Analysis, and Watershed Restoration.

Riparian Reserves

See Riparian Reserves in the Land Use Allocation section.

Key Watersheds

A system of Key Watersheds that serves as refugia is crucial for maintaining and recovering habitat for at-risk stocks of anadromous salmonids and resident fish species. These refugia include areas of high quality habitat and areas of degraded habitat. Key Watersheds with high quality conditions will serve as anchors for the potential recovery of depressed stocks. Those of lower quality habitat have high potential for restoration and will become future sources of high quality habitat with the implementation of a comprehensive restoration program.

There are 2 types of Key Watersheds - Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 watersheds contribute directly to conservation of at-risk anadromous salmonids, bull trout, and resident fish species. They also have a high potential of being restored as part of a watershed restoration program. Tier 2 watersheds do not contain at-risk fish stocks, but they are important sources of high quality water.

Key Watersheds overlay portions of all land use allocations in the District and place additional management requirements or emphasis on activities in those areas. The Bear/Marten watershed is the only Key Watershed that is entirely in the Eugene District. This watershed is part of the Central Cascade AMA and overlays both Matrix and Riparian Reserve land use allocations.

Key Watersheds and District ownership within them:

Key Watershed   Tier BLM
Acres
Total
Acres
Bear/Marten Creeks   1 8,282 14,377
N. Fork Smith River   1 162 43,916
Steamboat Creek   1 290 145,257
Upper Lobster Creek   1 1,426 26,415
Upper Smith River   1 2,475 50,870
         
Total     12,635 280,835

See Map 2-19 in the PRMP/FEIS for location of Key Watersheds.

The noninterchangeable component of the Allowable Sale Quantity, attributable to Key Watersheds, is 460,000 cubic feet. Identification of this component was required by the SEIS Record of Decision, pages E-19 and E-20.

Management Actions/Direction

1. Prior to further resource management activity, including timber harvest, prepare watershed analyses in Key Watersheds. Until watershed analyses can be completed, proceed with minor activies, such as those categorically excluded under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations (except timber harvest), if they are consistent with Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives. Apply Riparian Reserve management actions/direction.
2. Reduce existing road mileage within Key Watersheds. If funding is insufficient to implement reductions, neither construct nor authorize through discretionary permits a net increase in road mileage in Key Watersheds.
3. Give highest priority to watershed restoration in Key Watersheds.

Watershed Analysis

See Watershed Analysis (toward the end of this section) and the SEIS/ROD (see Appendix A) for requirements.

Watershed Restoration

Watershed restoration will be an integral part of a program to aid recovery of fish habitat, riparian habitat, and water quality. The most important components of a watershed restoration program are control and prevention of road-related runoff and sediment production, restoration of the condition of riparian vegetation, and restoration of in-stream habitat complexity. Other restoration opportunities include meadow and wetland restoration and mine reclamation.

Management Actions/Direction

1. Prepare watershed analyses and plans prior to restoration activities.
2. Focus watershed restoration on removing some roads and, where needed, upgrading those that remain in the system.
3. Apply silvicultural treatments to restore large conifers in Riparian Reserves.
4. Restore stream channel complexity. In-stream structures will only be used in the short-term and not as a mitigation measure.

Additional information about the Aquatic Conservation Strategy is found in the SEIS/ROD (Appendix A).