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Riparian Assessment and Prescription Procedures

If a watershed assessment, for example, a CWAP or IWAP, a sediment source survey, a needs assessment, or a similar review of impacts of forest harvest in the watershed suggests potential impacts on riparian habitat, the RAPP can be undertaken to further identify the locations, nature and magnitude of impacts on riparian functions, and the opportunities for effective rehabilitation (i.e., the restoration of ecological funtion). The assessment procedure (Figure 2) assumes that known or suspected riparian impacts resulting from past logging practices are present in the watershed. The assessment addresses the following questions:

  1. What riparian habitat is impaired, where is it, and to what extent is it impaired?
  2. What are possible restoration scenarios?
  3. Which of the degraded riparian sites are the highest priority for restoration?

In practice, the RAPP will be implemented as an iterative process. The first stage of RAPP is an overview assessment to identify areas of potential concern and to indicate the general nature of the disturbances. The second stage is more-detailed and quantitative field assessments (Levels 1 and 2) of particular areas of concern, leading to development of restoration prescriptions to improve the logging-impaired riparian habitats. Level 2 prescriptions should also include design of maintenance and effectiveness monitoring procedures to promote and evaluate the success of the restoration activities, and to allow for adaptive feedback, if required.

Figure 2. Flowchart of WRP riparian assessment and prescription procedures.
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Watershed Restoration Program
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