Closing Plenary June 20 8:30 - 10:30 am
Ecological Restoration: What have we learned?
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Ecotone Landscape Planning, LLC
Santa Fe, NM
US EPA, Region 8
Katherine Lininger, PhD
University of Colorado
Stream ecologists have been collecting data from restoration projects for two decades and as yet the linkages between restoration planning, engineering and ecology is poorly established. In addition, regulatory agencies and watershed managers have clearly noted that the river’s ecological condition must show measurable improvement to be a successful restoration. How can stream restoration practitioners bridge this gap and improve the ecological functions of stream restoration projects? Can the Stream Quantification Tool address many these deficiencies? This session will not focus on how a few scattered projects have improved stream health, rather we will focus on how evaluating ecological processes as part of stream restoration practices. Questions to be addressed may include how the value of organic matter retention and improved flood storage capacity, or the removal of excessive levels of nutrients and/or sediment can improve ecological condition and be included in project design? Can ecological functions, or goals, be including in the early restoration planning process, rather than only a contract stipulation. Guidelines to accomplish these goals are urgently needed.