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

Riparian Reserves


The following material summarizes Riparian Reserve direction. Details regarding this direction are found in the SEIS/ROD, Appendix A.

Objectives

See Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

Provide habitat for Special Status Species, SEIS special attention, and other terrestrial species.

Land Use Allocations

There are approximately 173,000 acres of Riparian Reserves in the District. The Riparian Reserve portion of the District's land use allocations are as follows:

    Acres
Riparian
Reserve
Mapped/unmapped Late-Successional
Reserves
  84,920
Connectivity/Diversity Blocks   28,500
General Forest Management Areas   51,140
District Designated Reserves   1,158
Adaptive Management Area   7,240

Calculation of these acres is based on prescribed widths and estimated miles of stream in the various categories described in the SEIS/ROD. The widths are intended to provide a high level of fish, wildlife and plant habitat, and riparian protection until watershed and site analysis can be completed. Although Riparian Reserve boundaries on permanently flowing streams may be adjusted, they are considered to be the approximate widths necessary for attaining Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives. Post-watershed analysis Riparian Reserve boundaries for permanently flowing streams will approximate the boundaries described below. Following watershed analysis, Riparian Reserve boundaries for intermittent streams may be different from the existing boundaries. Determination of final boundaries will be based on hydrologic, geomorphic, and ecologic processes in a watershed affecting intermittent streams. The widths of Riparian Reserves apply to all watersheds until watershed analysis is completed, a site-specific analysis is conducted and described, and the rationale for final Riparian Reserve boundaries is presented through the appropriate National Environmental Policy Act decision-making process.

The initial Riparian Reserve widths are as follows:

Fish-bearing streams - Riparian Reserves consist of the stream and the area on either side of the stream extending from the edges of the active stream channel to the top of the inner gorge; or to the outer edges of the 100-year flood plain; or to the outer edges of riparian vegetation; or to a distance equal to the height of 2 site-potential trees; or 300 foot slope distance (600 foot total, including both sides of the stream channel), whichever is greatest.

Permanently flowing nonfish-bearing streams - Riparian Reserves consist of the stream and the area on either side of the stream extending from the edges of the active stream channel to the top of the inner gorge, or to the outer edges of the 100-year flood plain, or to the outer edges of riparian vegetation, or to a distance equal to the height of 1 site-potential tree, or 150-foot slope distance, whichever is greatest.

Seasonally flowing or intermittent streams, wetlands less than one acre, and unstable and potentially unstable areas - This category applies to features with high variability in size and site-specific characteristics. At a minimum the Riparian Reserve will include:

  • the extent of unstable and potentially unstable areas;

  • the stream channel and the area extending to the top of the inner gorge;

  • the stream channel or wetland and the area from the edges of the stream channel or wetland to the outer edges of the riparian vegetation; and

  • the area extending from the edges of the stream channel to a distance equal to the height of one site-potential tree, or 100-foot slope distance, whichever is greatest.

Constructed ponds and reservoirs, and wetlands greater than one acre - Riparian Reserves consist of the body of water or wetland and the area to the outer edges of the riparian vegetation; or the extent of seasonally saturated soil; or to the extent of unstable and potentially unstable areas; or to a distance equal to the height of one site-potential tree; or to 150-foot slope distance from the edge of a wetland greater than one acre; or the maximum pool elevation of constructed ponds and reservoirs, whichever is greatest.

Lakes and Natural Ponds - Riparian Reserves consist of the body of water and the area to the outer edges of the riparian vegetation; or to the extent of seasonally saturated soil; or to the extent of unstable and potentially unstable areas; or to a distance equal to the height of 2 site-potential trees; or 300-foot slope distance, whichever is greatest.

Intermittent streams are defined as any nonpermanent flowing drainage feature having a definable channel and evidence of annual scour or deposition. This includes what are sometimes referred to as ephemeral streams if they meet these 2 physical criteria.

Management Actions/Direction

General - As a rule, management actions/direction for Riparian Reserves prohibit or regulate activities that retard or prevent attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives. Watershed analysis and appropriate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance will be required to change Riparian Reserves in all watersheds.

Implement the following management actions/direction in Riparian Reserves. (Management actions/direction in this section are supplemented by Best Management Practices in Appendix C.)

Timber Management

Neither conduct nor allow timber harvest, including fuelwood cutting, in Riparian Reserves, with exception of the following:

Where catastrophic events, such as fire, flooding, volcanic, wind, or insect damage result in degraded riparian conditions, allow salvage and fuelwood cutting if required to attain Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.
 
Remove salvage trees only when watershed analysis determines that present and future woody debris needs are met and other Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives are not adversely affected.
 
Apply silvicultural practices for Riparian Reserves to control stocking, reestablish and manage stands, and acquire desired vegetation characteristics needed to attain Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.
 
Riparian Reserve acres are not included in calculations of the Allowable Sale Quantity.

Roads Management

Cooperate with Federal, State, and County agencies and work with private parties with road use agreements to achieve consistency in road design, operation, and maintenance necessary to attain Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

For each existing or planned road, meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives by

  1. completing watershed analyses including appropriate geotechnical analyses (i.e., examining soil and rock conditions in riparian and stream crossings) prior to construction of new roads or landings in Riparian Reserves;

  2. minimizing road and landing locations in Riparian Reserves;

  3. preparing road design criteria, elements, and standards that govern construction and reconstruction;

  4. preparing operation and maintenance criteria that govern road operation, maintenance, and management;

  5. minimizing disruption of natural hydrologic flow paths, including diversion of streamflow and interception of surface and subsurface flow;

  6. restricting side casting, as necessary, to prevent the introduction of sediment to streams; and

  7. avoiding wetlands entirely when constructing new roads.

Determine the influence of each road on the Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives through watershed analysis. Meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives by:

  1. reconstructing roads and associated drainage features that pose a substantial risk;

  2. prioritizing reconstruction based on current and potential impact to riparian resources and the ecological value of the riparian resources affected; and

  3. closing and stabilizing, or obliterating and stabilizing roads based on the ongoing and potential effects to Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives and considering short-term and long-term transportation needs.

Design and construct new culverts, bridges and other stream crossings, and improve existing stream crossing structures determined to pose a substantial risk to riparian conditions. New structures and improvements will be designed to accommodate at least the 100-year flood, including associated bedload and debris. Priority for upgrading will be based on the potential impact and the ecological value of the riparian resources affected. Crossings will be constructed and maintained to prevent diversion of streamflow out of the channel and down the road in the event of crossing failure.

Minimize sediment delivery to streams from roads. Out sloping of the roadway surface is preferred, except in cases where outsloping will increase sediment delivery to streams or where outsloping is infeasible or unsafe. Route road drainage away from potentially unstable channels, fills, and hill slopes.

Provide and maintain fish passage at all road crossings of existing and potential fish-bearing streams (e.g., streams that can be made available to anadromous fish by removing obstacles to passage).

Develop and implement a Transportation Management Plan that will meet the Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives. At a minimum, this plan will include provisions for the following activities:

  • Inspections and maintenance during storm events

  • Inspections and maintenance after storm events

  • Road operation and maintenance giving high priority to identifying and correcting road drainage problems that contribute to degrading riparian resources

  • Traffic regulation during wet periods to prevent damage to riparian resources

  • Establishment of the purpose of each road by development of the Transportation Management Plan.

Grazing Management

The livestock grazing program has been cancelled since publication of the Eugene District Draft RMP/EIS. Authorization for future grazing on the District is described in Appendix E.

Recreation Management

Design new recreational facilities within Riparian Reserves, including trails and dispersed sites, so as not to prevent meeting Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives. Construction of these facilities should not prevent future attainment of these objectives. For existing recreation facilities within Riparian Reserves, evaluate and mitigate impacts to ensure that these do not prevent, and to the extent practicable contribute to, attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

Adjust dispersed and developed recreation practices that retard or prevent attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy (ACS) objectives. Where adjustment measures, such as education, use limitations, traffic control devices, increased maintenance, relocation of facilities, and/or specific site closures are not effective, eliminate the practice or occupancy.

Address attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives in Wild & Scenic River and Wilderness management plans.

Minerals Management

The following management actions/direction differ from the standards and guidelines in the SEIS/ROD, since the standards and guidelines are not all implementable under current laws and regulations. The stronger standards and guidelines in the SEIS/ROD (see Appendix A) will be adopted at such time as changes in current laws and/or regulations authorize their implementation.

For any proposed locatable mining operation in Riparian Reserves, other than notice level or casual use, require the following actions by the operator consistent with 43 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) 3809:

Prepare a Plan of Operations, including a reclamation plan and reclamation bond for all mining operations in Riparian Reserves. Such plans and bonds will address the costs of removing facilities, equipment, and materials; recontouring of disturbed areas to an approved topography; isolating and neutralizing or removing toxic or potentially toxic materials; salvaging and replacing topsoil; and revegetating to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

Locate structures, support facilities, and roads outside Riparian Reserves. If no alternative to siting facilities in Riparian Reserves exists, locate in a way compatible with Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives. Road construction will be kept to the minimum necessary for the approved mineral activity. Roads will be constructed and maintained to meet road management standards and to minimize damage to resources in Riparian Reserves. When a road is no longer required for mineral or land management activities, it will be reclaimed. In any case, access roads will be constructed consistent with 43 CFR 3809 and acceptable road construction standards and will minimize damage to resources in Riparian Reserves.

Avoid locating solid and sanitary waste facilities in Riparian Reserves. If no alternative to locating mine waste (waste rock, spent ore, tailings) facilities in Riparian Reserves exists, if releases can be prevented, and if stability can be ensured, then:

  • Analyze the waste material using the best conventional sampling methods and analytic techniques to determine its chemical and physical stability characteristics.

  • Locate and design the waste facilities using best conventional techniques to ensure mass stability and prevent the release of acid or toxic materials. If the best conventional technology is not sufficient to prevent such releases and ensure stability over the long-term, prohibit such facilities in Riparian Reserves.

  • Reclaim waste facilities after operations to ensure chemical and physical stability and to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

  • Monitor waste and waste facilities after operations to ensure chemical and physical stability and to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

  • Require reclamation bonds adequate to ensure chemical and physical stability and to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

Where an existing operator is in noncompliance at the notice level (i.e., causing unnecessary or undue degradation), require actions similar to those stated above to meet the intent of 43 CFR 3809.

For leasable mineral activity in Riparian Reserves, prohibit surface occupancy for oil, gas, and geothermal exploration and development activities where leases do not exist. Where possible, adjust the stipulations in existing leases to eliminate impacts that retard or prevent the attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives consistent with existing lease terms and stipulations.

Allow development of saleable minerals, such as sand and gravel, within Riparian Reserves only if Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives can be met.

Develop inspection and monitoring requirements and include such requirements in exploration and mining plans and in leases or permits consistent with existing laws and regulations. Evaluate the results of inspection and monitoring to determine if modification of plans, leases, and permits is needed to eliminate impacts that retard or prevent attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

Fire/Fuels Management

Design fuel treatment and fire suppression strategies, practices, and activities to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives, and to minimize disturbance of riparian ground cover and vegetation. Strategies will recognize the role of fire in ecosystem function and identify those instances where fire suppression or fuel management activities could be damaging to long-term ecosystem function.

Locate incident bases, camps, helibases, staging areas, helispots and other centers for incident activities outside of Riparian Reserves. If the only suitable location for such activities is within the Riparian Reserve, an exemption may be granted following a review and recommendation by a resource advisor. The advisor will prescribe the location, use conditions, and rehabilitation requirements. Utilize an interdisciplinary team to predetermine suitable incident base and helibase locations.

Minimize delivery of chemical retardant, foam, or other additives to surface waters. An exception may be warranted in situations where overriding immediate safety imperatives exist or, following a review and recommendation by a resource advisor, when an escape will cause more long-term damage.

Design prescribed burn projects and prescriptions to contribute to attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

Immediately establish an emergency team to develop a rehabilitation treatment plan needed to attain Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives whenever Riparian Reserves are significantly damaged by a wildfire or a prescribed fire burning outside prescribed parameters.

Until watershed analysis is completed for a watershed, suppress wildfire to avoid loss of habitat and to maintain future management options.

Consider allowing some natural fires to burn under prescribed conditions. This decision will be based on additional analysis and planning.

Consider rapidly extinguishing smoldering coarse woody debris and duff.

Locate and manage water drafting sites (e.g., sites where water is pumped to control or suppress fires) to minimize adverse effects on riparian habitat and water quality as consistent with Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

Lands

Identify in stream flows needed to maintain riparian resources, channel conditions, and fish passage.

Issue leases, permits, rights-of-way, and easements to avoid adverse effects that retard or prevent attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives. Where legally possible, adjust existing leases, permits, rights-of-way, and easements to eliminate adverse effects that retard or prevent the attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives. If adjustments are not effective and where legally possible, eliminate the activity. Priority for modifying existing leases, permits, rights-of-way, and easements will be based on the actual or potential impact and the ecological value of the riparian resources affected.

Use land acquisition, exchange, and conservation easements to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives and facilitate restoration of fish stocks and other species at risk of extinction.

For proposed hydroelectric projects under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the Commission), provide timely, written comments regarding maintenance of in stream flows and habitat conditions and maintenance/restoration of riparian resources and stream channel integrity. Request the Commission to locate proposed support facilities outside of Riparian Reserves. For existing support facilities inside Riparian Reserves that are essential to proper management, provide recommendations to the Commission that ensure Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives are met. Where these objectives cannot be met, provide recommendations to the Commission that such support facilities should be relocated. Existing support facilities that must be located in the Riparian Reserves should be located, operated, and maintained with an emphasis to eliminate adverse effects that retard or prevent attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

For other hydroelectric and surface water development proposals in Tier 1 Key Watersheds, require in stream flows and habitat conditions that maintain or restore riparian resources, favorable channel conditions, and fish passage. Coordinate this process with the appropriate State agencies. For other hydroelectric and surface water development proposals in all other watersheds, give priority emphasis to in stream flows and habitat conditions that maintain or restore riparian resources, favorable channel conditions, and fish passage. Coordinate this process with the appropriate State agencies.

General Riparian Area Management

Identify and attempt to secure in stream flows needed to maintain riparian resources, channel conditions, and aquatic habitat.

Fall trees in Riparian Reserves when they pose a safety risk. Keep felled trees on site when needed to meet coarse woody debris objectives.

Apply herbicides, insecticides, other toxicant, and other chemicals only in a manner that avoids impacts that retard or prevent attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

Locate water drafting sites to minimize adverse effects on stream channel stability, sedimentation, and in stream flows needed to maintain riparian resources, channel conditions, and fish habitat.

Watershed and Habitat Restoration

Design and implement watershed restoration projects in a manner that promotes long-term ecological integrity of ecosystems, conserves the genetic integrity of native species, and attains Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

Cooperate with Federal, State, local, and tribal agencies, and private landowners to develop watershed-based coordinated Resource Management Plans or other cooperative agreements to meet Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

Prevent watershed and habitat degradation rather than relying on mitigation measures or planned restoration.

Fish and Wildlife Management

Design and implement fish and wildlife habitat restoration and enhancement activities in a manner that contributes to attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

Design, construct and operate fish and wildlife interpretive and other user enhancement facilities in a manner that does not retard or prevent attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives. For existing fish and wildlife interpretative and other user enhancement facilities inside Riparian Reserves, ensure that Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives are met. Where Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives cannot be met, relocate or close such facilities.

Cooperate with Federal, State, and Native American wildlife management agencies to identify and eliminate wild ungulate impacts that are inconsistent with attainment of Aquatic Conservation Strategy objectives.

Cooperate with Federal, State, and Native American fish management agencies to identify and eliminate impacts associated with habitat manipulation, fish stocking, harvest, and poaching that threaten the continued existence and distribution of native fish stocks inhabiting streams with adjacent or nearby Federal lands.