Ministry Home
Environmental Stewardship Division Ministry Home Ministry Home
Biodiversity Home
Whats New
Biodiversity Publications
Topics
Contacts
FAQ

 

Publications

PreviousHomeTable of ContentsNext

Spacer graphic
Spacer graphic
Spacer graphic RIPARIAN ASSESSMENT AND PRESCRIPTION PROCEDURES

Level 1 Field Assessment

  • riparian areas that have been previously logged to the streambank, and within the RRZ adjacent to S1-S3 streams.

By using overview information, you can usually restrict the Level 1 field survey to a smaller portion of the watershed than the initial study area.

The objectives of the Level 1 assessment are:

  • to confirm or revise the nature, location and extent of forest harvest impacts on riparian habitat
  • to provide field data for use in prescription development
  • to provide a preliminary list of restoration options for sites with impaired riparian functions
  • to provide sufficient information to identify and prioritize impaired sites for Level 2 assessments and prescriptions.

The Level 1 assessment refines and builds upon the initial information from the overview assessment in identifying impaired riparian sites within the watershed. It does so by collecting further qualitative and quantitative information in field surveys. It also provides preliminary recommendations for restoration opportunities and prioritizes sites for the Level 2 assessment and prescription phase.

Scope of the Level 1 Assessment

The Level 1 riparian assessment is a field-based activity to survey current habitat conditions in selected riparian locations. It examines priority sites and evaluates the riparian level of functioning within those sites.

In particular, a site's level of functioning is based on its ability to supply the basic riparian functions of:

  • LWD (especially from coniferous trees, which are more decay resistant), CWD and SOD
  • stream shading
  • stream bank and channel stability
  • wildlife and general biodiversity attributes.

The level of functioning will be evaluated within a classification of low, moderate or high functionality. The Level 1 assessment uses several features to characterize riparian habitat conditions and identify priority sites for potential restoration. Habitat features of particular importance are:

  • overstorey vegetation characteristics (tree species, densities and heights, % cover)
  • understorey vegetation characteristics (shrub, herb and moss species, % cover and height)
  • soil properties (horizon depths, textures, % coarse fragments)
  • indicators of disturbances (e.g., slides, culverts, flooding)
  • site gradient and aspect
  • stream gradient and width.

To evaluate habitat conditions, the Level 1 assessment compares the values of the above habitat features within the reach to expected values in mature or old-growth forests. However, little in the way of published diagnostic data exists and, therefore, many of the evaluations will be based on general expected values at various successional stages of the riparian forest. For example, at the pole-sapling structural stage one would quite clearly evaluate provision of LWD as low (i.e., low functionality).

The field survey collects quantitative and qualitative information on the above features. Methods to obtain these data are described below.

Steps in the Level 1 Assessment

The steps in the Level 1 assessment are:

  1. Develop a field visitation plan based on overview assessment recommendations and considering field logistics such as access and worker safety considerations.
  2. Assemble field survey equipment:
    • field maps
    • air photos
    • field forms
    • pencil
    • field note book
    • plant identification field guides
    • MOF Handbook (see References)
    • compass
    • measuring tools (e.g., tape, surveyors tape, foldable metre stick, surveyers rod, range finder)
    • spade
    • cable marked at 3.99 and 11.28 m (these sizes are used to provide a tree stems/ha count)
    • flagging tape
    • clinometer
    • tree corer (increment bore; medium size)
    • plant and soil sample bags
    • GPS unit (if available)
    • camera and film
    • small white board and pen to identify location in photographs (optional)
    • safety gear
    • safety clothing (foot and head gear).
  3. Gather and evaluate field data following the instructions for Form 2 (following section),
    1. confirm boundaries of priority riparian areas
    2. select representative plot locations
    3. gather quantitative data on site conditions, including overstorey and understorey vegetation from representative locations
    4. gather descriptive data on soils, site disturbances and any other features that may influence site assessment and prescription development
    5. evaluate level of functioning within each polygon (high, moderate or low).
  4. Identify priority sites recommended for the Level 2 assessment and prescription phase. As with the outcome from the overview phase, priorities are based on level of expected benefit to the watershed and where the likelihood of success is high. List or discuss possible restoration options for sites that are likely candidates for restoration projects. Typical harvested riparian sites and treatment scenarios are provided in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Examples of stand types that provide opportunities for riparian restoration and some options for restoration.

Level 1 Assessment Field Form Instructions

Use the following instructions to enter data in the Level 1 assessment field data form, Form 2 (see completed form example in Appendix 7).

1. Preliminary Information

Polygon #: Transfer the polygon number from the overview assessment Form 1. All polygons should receive a unique number.

Plot #: A minimum of one plot per polygon needs to be completed.

SSt: Stand structure (SSt) within an RVT, previously identified during the overview assessment, should be confirmed in the field. Classification should include one of the following:
INIT - initial succession (bare ground or early herbs)
SH - shrub herb
PS - pole sapling
YF - young forest
MF - mature forest
OF - old forest.

Also include whether the stand structure is deciduous tree dominated (d) (>75% tree cover); coniferous dominated (c) (>75% tree cover); or mixed (m) deciduous-coniferous trees (neither deciduous nor coniferous tree species account for >75% cover).

Creek name: Transfer from the overview assessment Form 1, or distinguish as either the official name of the stream being surveyed as listed in the Gazetteer of Canada for British Columbia, or a local name.

Reach #: Transfer from the overview assessment Form 1, and refine if necessary. Delineating reaches is optional if doing only a riparian assessment, but should be consistent with reaches assigned if concurrently completing a fish habitat assessment or channel assessment.

Location: Record a concise description of the geographic location of the RVT surveyed referring to permanent or named features (e.g., 30 m upstream from main logging bridge).

Creek aspect: The compass direction (N, S, E, W) the creek is facing.

BEC zone: To determine the biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification (BEC) zone, refer to a BEC map. The maps provide an initial identification of the biogeoclimatic unit for a particular area, and may be all that is necessary if the area falls well within a map polygon.

Nonetheless, it should always be verified during the field visit. The BEC zone should be one of the following:

AT - Alpine Tundra
BG - Bunchgrass
BWBS - Boreal White and Black Spruce
CDF - Coastal Douglas-fir
CWH - Coastal Western Hemlock
ESSF - Engelmann Spruce-Subalpine Fir
ICH - Interior Cedar-Hemlock
IDF - Interior Douglas-fir
MH - Mountain Hemlock
MS - Montane Spruce
PP - Ponderosa Pine
SBPS - Sub-Boreal Pine Spruce
SBS - Sub-Boreal Spruce
SWB - Spruce-Willow-Birch.

(For detailed descriptions of BEC zones, refer to Appendix 3).

Air photo: Transfer from the overview assessment Form 1, or record the flightline and air photo number that depicts the stream reach or sampling site (year of flight should be automatically included as part of the air photo number).

RVT slope: Use a clinometer or Abney level to measure the slope of the RVT. The slope can be measuring by looking from the edge of the streambank at right angles to the stream, out to the edge of the RVT.

Stream gradient: Use a clinometer or Abney level to measure the gradient of the stream (+ 0.5%) adjacent to the plot. Mark the surveyor's rod at the eye level of the measurer. The rod man holds the surveyor's rod vertical at the far boundary of the habitat unit while the measurer sights the clinometer on this mark to make the gradient measurement.

Map: Transfer from the overview assessment Form 1, or record index number of the NTS (1:50 000 scale) or BCGS (1:20 000 scale) map that depicts the downstream boundary of the stream reach or sampling site.

UTM: Using NTS maps or a GPS unit, record the UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) number that identifies the location of the downstream boundary of the sampling site (e.g., 10.6975.58984).

Plot radius/Plot multiplier: Plots are created by measuring out a specific length (plot radius) from a centre point and surveying in a circle around the centre point (Figure 5). Plots should be large enough to tally an average of six live dominant trees per plot over the RVT, and they should be representative of the RVT. There are two standard lengths to measure based on the stem density within the plot. Use a 3.99 m radius in young stands, for older less dense stands, use 11.28 m instead. These radii are used since they can be conveniently multiplied to calculate stems per hectare. For a plot radius of 3.99 m, multiply by 200 (Figure 5). For a plot radius of 11.28 m, multiply by 25. For a plot radius of 5.64 m, used in some forest inventory activities, multiply trees counted within plot by 100 (i.e., a circle of 5.64 m radius is equal to 100 m2 area).

Figure 5. Example of a 3.99 m radius field plot (submitted by V. Poulin, V. Poulin and Assoc., Vancouver).

Wb (bankfull channel width): Measure the bankfull channel width (Wb) in metres at a representative site as the horizontal distance perpendicular to the channel from rooted terrestrial vegetation to rooted terrestrial vegetation on opposite sides of the stream (often simply called channel width).

Stream width measurements should not be made near (within approx. 20 m) of stream crossings, at unusually wide or narrow points, or in areas of atypically low gradient such as marshy or swampy areas, beaver ponds, or other impoundments. Do not include vegetated islands or bars. If multiple channels are separated by vegetated islands, sum the separate bankfull channel width measurements. Include unvegetated gravel bars in the bankfull channel width measurement. Refer to WRP Technical Circular 8 for more explanation if needed, or the appropriate Code guide.

Stream characteristics such as channel width and stream gradient can be used to give an indication of the potential value of fish habitat within the general area of the riparian field site (lower gradient streams are usually more valuable than high gradient streams), and help prioritize sites for riparian restoration.

Code stream class: Transfer from the overview assessment Form 1, or on the basis of previous definitions (Table 1) classify your stream as S1 to S6. We recommend that the riparian assessment procedure focus on S1-S3 stream classes unless specifically designated otherwise by the contracting agency.

RMA, RRZ and RMZ: Based on the stream classification (S1-S6) (or lake or wetland), record the width of the RMA, RMZ and RRZ (see earlier definitions, Table 2).

Year of harvest: Transfer record (if any) of last harvest or restocking from the overview assessment Form 1, and if necessary refine based on field observations. A tree coring device can help provide site specific data.

2. Overstorey

For the purposes of this form, overstorey refers to all deciduous and coniferous tree species identified within a plot, regardless of size or age.

Layer: Layers of the overstorey are based on the diameter of the trunk at breast height (dbh). The layers are:

1a: > 22 cm (mature trees)
1b: 12.6-21.9 cm (mature trees)
2: 7.5-12.5 cm (poles)
3: 0.1-7.4 cm (saplings)
4: trees shorter than dbh (<1.3 m, regeneration layer).

Tree species stem tally: As species are identified, mark in the species code and the number of trees for each species in each layer within your chosen plot. There is room on the form for six species. See Glossary for tree species codes (e.g., Hw - western hemlock, Dr - red alder).

Total SPH: Stems per hectare (sph). Since it is impractical in riparian assessment to survey an entire hectare of vegetation, smaller plots are surveyed and hectare density is extrapolated. This number is calculated by summing species tallied within each layer and multiplying by the plot multiplier.

For a plot radius of 3.99 m:

layer 1a: (3 Hw + 1Cw) × 200 (plot multiplier) = 800 sph
(also see Figure 5).

This number is used to calculate relative presence and abundance of the various species in each layer, and additionally to measure future sources of large woody debris (LWD). Sum coniferous and deciduous species separately.

Dominant species: Record the most abundant species for each layer as the dominant species.

Species hgt (height), DBH: Once the dominant species has been determined, select a representative example within the plot and record its height (visual estimate in m) and dbh (cm).

3. Understorey

The understorey is made up of species of shrubs, herbs and mosses. These are important indicators of site specific growing conditions, most typically related to soil moisture and nutrient conditions, and are commonly used to help establish the provincial BEC site series classifications.

Layer: Layers of the understorey are based on average height and can be divided up as follows:

Tall shrub: >2 m
Short shrub: <2 m
Herbs: predominant herbaceous (non-woody) growth
Moss: predominant moss species present on ground.

% cover: As it is not practical nor useful to do stem counts for the understorey, per cent cover is used as a measure of abundance. Estimate the amount of foliar coverage of a particular species within a given layer. For assistance in estimating cover, refer to the companion charts in Figure 6. It is not necessary that all the species of a layer add up to 100% cover.

Figure 6. Comparison charts for estimation of foliage cover (after Luttmerding et al. 1990)

Species: There are no official species codes for shrubs, herbs and mosses. Instead, fill in the field form with either the latin or common name, or an acceptable abbreviation of the names. For example, salmonberry, Rubus spectabilis is commonly abbreviated as "Rusp;" (if using abbreviations, be sure to include the full names of the species on the field form). Record the three most abundant species in each layer. Should you wish to record the presence of more than three species, record them in the Comments section. If a species is unknown and cannot be quickly identified in the field, state whether it is a grass, forb, aquatic plant or moss under species column, and take a sample for identification later in the office or lab.

Height: Enter the height in metres to the nearest 0.1 m.

Mean height of dominant shrub layer: Estimate the average height of the understorey layer with the greatest total cover.

4. Plot Summary

Total % cover: Estimate the total per cent cover for both the overstorey and the understorey.

Total SPH: Sum the total stems per hectare (sph) for only layers 1a and 1b.

5. Snags

Snags are any standing dead trees and are valuable as wildlife trees and potential LWD (see BC classification of wildlife trees in Appendix 6).

Total/Plot: Add up all snags over 5 m in height within the plot.

DBH range: Estimate in centimetres the range in diameter (at dbh) of all snags over 5 m in height.

Species: Where it is still possible to identify the snags by species, record it. Otherwise, distinguish between coniferous and deciduous trees.

% LWD: Estimate the per cent of snags within the plot that may ultimately function as LWD (i.e., the percentage that is close enough to fall into the stream within the next 10 years - approximately).

Total/ha: Multiply the total snags per plot by the plot multiplier to calculate total snags per hectare.

6. Disturbance Indicators

Make note (yes or no) of the presence of any of the following disturbance indicators within an RVT:

Beaver activity Flooding Blow down
Fire Surface erosion

Slide

Slope failure Insect/disease Bridge/Culvert
Grazing Road Other (e.g., herbicide)

C (comment): If a more detailed explanation of disturbances is desired, assign a number in the comment box and include a corresponding description in the comments section at the bottom of the form (referring back to the same number, e.g., C1, C2, C3).

7. Soil Horizons

Soil horizon can be defined as a layer of soil that is distinguished from adjacent layers by characteristic physical properties such as structure, colour or texture. Humus is the organic layer at the top that consists of decomposing plant material. A horizons are surface mineral horizons, and consist of two types. Ae horizons indicate strong leaching of organic matter and nutrients from upper mineral soil and are associated with nutrient-poor to nutrient-medium soils. Ah horizons indicate an accumulation of humus in the surface mineral soil, and are generally associated with nutrient-rich soils. Ae horizons are light greyish coloured (lighter than underlying soil) while Ah horizons are dark brown coloured (darker than underlying soil). (Refer to Appendix 4 for additional details).

Horizon: Classify as humus, Ae or Ah.

Depth: Measure and record the average thickness of each soil layer in cm.

Texture (mineral layers only): To help identify soil type, crush a small handful of soil in the hand, and remove coarse fragments (particles greater than 2 mm in diameter). Gradually add water to the soil and work into a putty (not too moist or dry). Categorize the texture as either clay, silt or sand based on the following features:

Clay - feels smooth and very sticky,
Silt - feels slippery or soapy,
Sand - feels grainy

% coarse fragments (mineral layers only): Per cent coarse fragments can be determined through estimating per cent by volume of mineral soil fragments greater than 2 mm in diameter.

8. Level of Functioning

Levels can be briefly described as follows:

  • Low (L) - riparian vegetation functioning poorly, improvement needed
  • Medium (M) - functioning moderately, improvement may help
  • High(H) - functioning well, improvement not needed

These can be assessed by visually estimating the current extent of riparian functioning based on the potential level. The level for each ecological function will vary according to the structural stage of the vegetation (Table 3).

Table 3. Potential level of riparian functioning

Structural stage
LWD
SODa
Stream shading
Surface sediment filtering
Bank & channel stability
Initial
L
L
L
L
L
Shrub herb
L
M - H
L - M
M
L
Pole sapling
L
H
L - M
M
L
Young forest
L
H
M - H
H
L - H
Mature forest
H
H
H
H
H
Old forest
H
H
H
H
H

aSmall organic debris (e.g., leaf litter, twigs, falling insects)

Criteria for determining level of functioning (adapted from McLennan and Johnson 1997):

LWD/CWD: The primary factors for considering the level of functioning for LWD/CWD are the number of sph of the overstorey vegetation, the effective distance of potential LWD from stream, and the species of potential LWD.

To assess sph for LWD (Table 4), consider only coniferous tree species since their resistance to decay is much greater than that of deciduous species. The exception would be when assessing areas where coniferous species are naturally rare or absent.

Table 4. Assessing stems per hectare (sph) for potential level of LWD functioning

 
Coniferous sph
Overstorey layer
High (H)
Medium (M)
Low (L)
1a >22 cm
>150
50 - 150
<50
1b 12.6-21.9 cm
>100
50 - 100
<50
2 7.5-12.5 cm
>200
75 - 200
<75
3 0.1-7.4 cm
>400
200 - 400
<200
4 <1.3 m height
>600
300 - 600
<300

The effective distance for LWD is considered to be a slope distance of 25 m in BC coastal regions and 15 m in the interior.

SOD: For a general assessment of SOD, three factors should be considered. First, assess height and relative distance of the vegetation from the stream. The taller the vegetation, the further it can be from the stream and still be effective as SOD (Table 5).

Table 5. Effective distance for SOD and stream shading function

Dominant vegetation
Mean vegetation
Maximum effective
Shrubs
Trees
height (m)
distance (m)
Low
seedlings
<1
1.0
High
saplings
1-3
3.0
 
trees
3-10
10.0
 
trees
10-20
20.0
 
trees
20-30
30.0
 
trees
>30
35.0

Secondly, deciduous leaf litter is higher in nutrients, produced in larger quantities, and easier to decompose and digest than needle litter. Therefore, SOD which is deciduous in origin will be of higher quality than that which is coniferous. However, coniferous needles are shed year-round and therefore provide continuous supply of nutrients.

Lastly, the amount of cover will affect SOD input into the stream. The more cover (regardless of tree/shrub, deciduous/coniferous, mature/early structural stage), the higher the input of SOD relative to little or no cover.

With these three factors in mind, determine the level of SOD functioning as either low, medium or high.

Stream shading: As with SOD, the height and distance of vegetation from the stream (as described in Table 5), and also the amount of cover should be considered for level of functioning. In addition, the stream class, the BEC zone, elevation and the aspect of the stream segment are important factors for assessing stream shade.

Stream shading is likely to have the highest impact on streams which are small in size, south facing in aspect, and located in the dryer and warm BEC zones BG, IDF, PP, ICH and CDF.

Surface sediment filtering: The ability of the riparian area to intercept surface sediment deposition will depend on several factors: extent of vegetation cover, slope, micro-topography and upslope sediment sources. For example, minimal ground cover, high RVT slopes (>35%) and relatively smooth micro-topography (little mounding) will reduce the surface sediment filtering capacity at a site.

Bank and channel stability: Observe the amount of vegetative cover on the streambanks, and whether the banks are bare, undercut or actively eroding. Decide whether the streambanks in the area of your RVT are stable or unstable. If unstable, indicate whether of low or moderate functioning level.

Observe the channel size and patterns, and the channel substrate materials. Try to evaluate whether the channel is stable, aggrading or degrading. If either aggrading or degrading indicate whether of low or moderate functioning level. Refer to figures in WRP Technical Circular 7, Channel Conditions and Prescriptions Assessment, or the Channel Assessment Procedures Guidebook to assist in this evaluation. In cases where it is too difficult to assess (requiring input from a hydraulic or geomorphic specialist), indicate by placing a "u" (unknown) in the space provided.

Photos: Photo documentation (roll and frame number) should be included in the field form for easy reference. Ideally, two photos should be taken per plot, one of the RVT vegetation and the second of the soil pit. Include a measure of scale in each photo, for example, include a person or surveying rod in the RVT photo, and include an tape measure in the soil pit photo.

Other comments: The comments section can be used to explain any disturbance indicators in greater detail as well as any general comments on the site. In addition, since one plot per RVT in most cases does not fully describe a site, walk-through the RVT and make note of any additional tree species that were not included in the plot, and any other observations that might affect the outcome of the Level 1 assessment.

Finally, where possible, compare the functioning in the harvested sites to similar variables in adjacent mature forest, or old-growth forest sites.

Proper Functioning Condition

There are additional tools that can be used in the Level 1 field assessment stage. One method is the proper functioning condition (PFC) checklist-style assessment of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (Prichard et al., 1998a, 1998b). This method requires a stream hydrologist, soils specialist, fish habitat biologist and riparian vegetation specialist to walk the stream together and make on-site evaluations based on their professional judgment (see Appendix 2 for sample questions). Some of the terminology used in the Code guide (e.g., desired future condition), are incorporated in Figure 3 (see earlier in text). To effectively use this method, consult the complete documentation of the Code method and the supporting scientific references.

Level 1 Data Summary

After completion of field data collection and function evaluation, return to the office and summarize the data. The summary will include:

  • review of the field visits
  • refinement of mapping materials
  • tabulation of comparative data
  • discussion of the results
  • preliminary list of possible restoration activities per dysfunctional RVT polygon
  • recommended priority locations to proceed to the Level 2 assessment and restoration prescriptions stage.

Level 1 Summary Form Instructions

Once data has been collected from the field sites, it is advisable to compare the sites to determine which are the best candidates to recommend for Level 2 assessment and prescription. This form (Form 3) is intended to make summaries and direct comparisons easier (also see sample of completed form in Appendix 7).

Reach no.: Identify the reach number (if simultaneously conducting fish habitat or channel conditions assessments). Transfer number from Forms 1 and 2.

Polygon no. and area (ha): Record the polygon number and calculated area based on the overview assessment and confirmed in the field visit. The area estimates (in hectares) can be quite crude since we are not yet at the prescription phase. For example, one can obtain a rough area measure by placing a grid system over the air photo polygons and counting the number of squares (of known area) from the grid which cover the polygon area. From the number of squares and based on knowing the scale of the air photo, one can use an appropriate conversion to obtain polygon area.

RVT no.: First determine the riparian vegetation type (RVT) labels (next column) and for each unique label, assign a number. If there are two sites that have the same label, they should also have the same RVT number.

An RVT label is created based on the stand structure and the overstorey species composition. Stand structure is identified in the first component. Composition makes up the second component and is determined by identifying the dominant species from the field form, with layer 1a and 1b. Where lower overstorey layers of seedlings and saplings are important and data are available, they will be the third component of the label. If a species is less than 20% volume in its layer, it can be included in brackets (Table 6).

Table 6. Examples of RVT labels (adapted from McLennan and Johnson 1997)

RVT Label Description
PSd/Dr(Ss)/HwSs A deciduous (d) pole sapling (PS) stand, 20-40 years old dominated by red alder (Dr) with scattered Sitka spruce (Ss) (<20%) in the overstorey; understorey has significant stocking of Hw and Ss.
PSc/HwCw(Dr) A coniferous (c) pole sapling stand 20-40 years old where red alder (Dr) is a minor component (<20%) and western hemlock (Hw) and western redcedar (Cw) are dominant.
SHls/HwCw(Dr) A low (ls) shrub (SH) regeneration stand between 1 and 20 years old where red alder (Dr) is a minor component (<20%) and western hemlock (Hw) and western redcedar (Cw) are dominant.
MFc/SsHwCw A coniferous (c) dominated mature forest (MF) stand of Sitka spruce (Ss), western hemlock (Hw), and western redcedar (Cw).

RVT labels can also be designed whereby fewer tree species are part of the label, and instead, understorey vegetation species (shrubs and herbs) are added. Shrubs and herbs are indicators of site specific growing conditions and thus good RVT descriptors.

Level of functioning can be summarized by assigning numbers to the low, medium and high designations on the field form. For example, low becomes 1, medium - 3, high - 5. The numbers for each of the categories for a polygon can then be added in the Summation column. This method allows comparison of each individual category and overall level of functioning for different sites.

Note: Because of regional and site variations, it may be appropriate to assign stronger weightings to different functions, for example LWD and stream bank stability may be more important functions at some sites than provision of SOD or surface sediment filtering. It will be left to the judgment of those carrying out the assessment to use the system that suits their project best (most appropriate tool) such as retaining the existing ranking from Form 2 (L,M,H categories from the field data form), or creating their own weighting system.

Disturbance indicators: Record here any disturbance indicators that were noted during the site visit, particularly those that may affect future restoration efforts (e.g., site prone to flooding).

Priority and recommendations: The summary form for Level 1 is intended as a tool to compare the various RVTs that were field assessed and to determine which of those require the more detailed assessment and prescription development at Level 2.

For all sites for which restoration is a possibility, prioritize them for Level 2 activities, as high priority (H), medium (M), or low priority (L), based on benefit to the resource or watershed, and on factors such as accessibility, field logistics and costs. At the bottom right hand corner of Form 3 you can sum the total area (in hectares) for the three categories.

Output from the Level 1 Assessment

Output from the Level 1 assessment includes the following:

  1. a brief discussion of methods used in the Level 1 assessment
  2. Form 2 data (see Appendix 7)
  3. mapping and map overlays of RVTs in study area
  4. identification of known or suspected impaired polygons
  5. a discussion of impairments and restoration options, desired future conditions; limitations to restoration;
  6. recommended sites for the Level 2 phase.

In some cases the recommendation may be that no further assessment is required. Reasons not to proceed with Level 2 for a given RVT are:

  • the site is currently functioning well (stream banks and channels are stable, there is diverse mature vegetation that offers adequate LWD/CWD, shading, sediment filtering and nutrient inputs)
  • the site is too prone to disturbance such as flooding, or for other reasons cannot support restoration efforts and success is unlikely.

Spacer graphic

PreviousHomeTable of ContentsNext

Copyright 1999 Province of British Columbia
Watershed Restoration Program
BC Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks

 

Government of BC links Copyright Disclaimer Privacy
Ministry of Water Land and Air Protection