16 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2022
    1. Assessment of the environmental impacts of conservation practices for reporting at the regional and national scales. • �Continue CEAP activities designed to estimate environmental benefits of conservation practices and programs. • �Develop a framework for reporting impacts of conservation practices and programs in terms of ecosystem services. • �Identify future conservation requirements and provide information for setting national and regional priorities. • �Expand assessment capabilities to address potential impacts of changes in agricultural land use and policy and define necessary conservation programs to meet new environmental challenges brought about by alternative land use or policy changes.
    2. Three principal themes will guide CEAP investments and activities in the future (Maresch et al. 2008): 1. �Research addressing effective and efficient implementation of conservation practices and programs to meet environmental goals and enhance environmental quality. • �Continue and expand CEAP research projects on the effects and benefits of conservation practices for soil and water quality at the watershed and landscape scales. • �Implement a new research and assessment initiative for grazing lands designed to provide scientific evidence for implementation of conservation practices at the landscape scale. • �Determine the critical processes and attributes to be measured at the appropriate landscape position for evaluation of environmental benefits. • �Expand the scope of assessment to include evaluation of a full suite of ecosystem services influenced by conservation practices and programs.
    3. CEAP products would have wide utility for diverse stakeholders within the conservation community. CEAP has evolved into an assessment and research initiative directed at determining not only the impacts of conservation practices, but also evaluating procedures to more effectively manage agricultural landscapes in order to address environmental quality goals at local, regional, and national scales (Maresch et al. 2008).
    1. The USDA engaged the Soil and Water Conservation Society in 2005 to assemble a panel of university scientists and conservation community leaders to recommend the most effective, proactive, and scientifically credible CEAP activities—thereby ensuring that
    2. A secondary goal of CEAP is to establish a framework for assessing and reporting the full suite of ecosystem services impacted by various conservation practices. Ecosystem services represent the benefits that ecological processes convey to human societies and the natural environment. For example, agricultural lands provide flood and drought mitigation, water and air purification, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, and aesthetics and recreation, in addition to the primary agricultural commodities produced. These ecosystem services are often taken for granted and unpriced or underpriced by the marketplace. Research and assessment activities will be integrated within CEAP to provide a scientific foundation for assessing the extent to which ecosystem services are enhanced by conservation practices and programs.
    3. quality of managed lands. CEAP is focused on establishing principles to guide cost-effective conservation practices at landscape scales and to achieve multiple environmental quality goals by placing specified conservation practices or combinations of complementary practices at appropriate locations on the landscape to maximize their effectiveness. CEAP is also developing science-based guidance, information, and decision support tools to determine the appropriate practices to be implemented at various locations on the landscape and to provide conservation program managers with a blueprint for delivery of science-based and cost-effective conservation programs (Duriancik et al. 2008).
    1. The Conservation Effects Assessment (Mausbach and Dedrick 2004). Project (CEAP) is a unique, multiagency effort designed to quantify conservation effects and to determine how conservation practices can be most effectively designed and implemented to protect and enhance environmental quality (Duriancik et al. CeaP Goals The primary goal of CEAP is to strengthen the scientific foundation underpinning conservation programs to protect and enhance environmental Rangelands represent non-cultivated, non-forested land that is extensively managed with ecological principles. (Photo: David Briske) 2008). CEAP was jointly initiated in 2003 by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in partnership with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) in response to requests from Congress and the Office of Management and Budget for greater accountability to US taxpayers following a near doubling of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) conservation program funding in the 2002 Farm Bill. These funds are allocated to multiple conservation practices through several USDA-sponsored conservation programs, including the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program, Conservation Reserve Program, and NRCS Conservation Technical Assistance Program. This funding increase was concomitant with substantial modifications to
  2. Sep 2021
    1. A PFC assessment can be incorporated into an integrated riparian management process through a logical sequence of actions (figure 2). Figure 2. Recommended steps for managing riparian areas using an integrated process. After effectiveness monitoring has been done (step 6), initial objectives are validated and modified if necessary. After implementing adaptive actions, step 6 is repeated to monitor the effectiveness of those actions.Step 7: Implement adaptive actionsStep 6: Monitor and analyze the effectiveness of actions and update resource condition ratings (PFC)Step 5: Design and implement management and restoration actionsStep 4: Identify issues and establish goals and objectivesStep 3: Prioritize reaches for management, restoration, or monitoring actionsStep 2: Identify riparian resource values and complete additional assessmentsStep 1: Assess riparian area function using the PFC method • Identify assessment area and assemble an interdisciplinary team • Review existing information and delineate and stratify reaches • Determine the potential of the reach • Assess the reach and determine its functional rating (validate with monitoring data if necessary)Modifyobjectivesif necessaryMonitoradaptiveactions
    1. Potential is defined as the highest ecological status a riparian-wetland areacan attain given nopolitical, social, or economical constraints; it is oftenreferred to as the “potential natural community” (PNC)
    2. For areas that are not functioning properly, changes have to be made to allow themto recover (e.g., acquire adequate vegetation). A change such as increasing vegeta-tion cover results in changes that improve function. Recovery starts with having theright elements present to dissipate energy, which puts the physical process intoworking order and provides the foundation to sustain the desired condition.Each riparian-wetland area has to be judged against its capability and potential. Thecapability and potential of natural riparian-wetland areas are characterized by theinteraction of three components: 1) hydrology, 2) vegetation, and 3) erosion/deposition (soils).
    3. The components of this definition are in order relative to how processes work on theground.When adequate vegetation, landform, or debris is present to dissipate energy associ-ated with wind and wave action or overland flow, then a number of physical changesbegin to occur, such as reduced erosion, floodplain development, and improvedflood-water retention. As physical aspects of an area begin to function, they start theprocess of developing wetland characteristics. These physical aspects have to befunctioning properly to sustain characteristics that provide habitat for resourcevalues.
    4. Proper Functioning Condition - Lentic riparian-wetland areas are func-tioning properly when adequate vegetation, landform, or debris is present to:dissipate energies associated with wind action, wave action, and overlandflow from adjacent sites, thereby reducing erosion and improving waterquality; filter sediment and aid floodplain development; improve flood-waterretention and ground-water recharge; develop root masses that stabilizeislands and shoreline features against cutting action; restrict water percola-tion; develop diverse ponding characteristics to provide the habitat and thewater depth, duration, and temperature necessary for fish production, water-bird breeding, and other uses; and support greater biodiversity.
    5. Toassess the condition of a riparian-wetland area, there must be a gauge to measureagainst. The definition of PFC in TR 1737-9 and TR 1737-15 establishes the gaugefor assessing lotic systems. This definition has to be adjusted for lentic systemsbecause they are affected by wind and wave energies or overland flow energiesversus high flow events, and they typically have a restrictive layer (e.g., geologicstructure/soil material/permafrost/manmade restrictive layer) that limits water perco-lation and maintains the site:
    1. This cooperative strategy recognized that if riparian-wetland areas are to be produc-tive, they have to be managed on a watershed basis, which requires working togetheracross ownership boundaries. To be successful, the agencies would need to usecommon terms and definitions and determine a minimum method for evaluating thecondition of riparian-wetland areas. The BLM and the FS identified the PFCmethod as the starting point—as the minimum level of assessment for riparian-wetland areas.
    2. Technical Reference 1737-15, AUser Guide to Assessing Proper FunctioningCondition and the Supporting Science for Lotic Areas (Prichard et al. 1998) providesthe background for how the PFC tool was developed. The PFC method has beenimplemented by BLM and adopted by several other agencies. In 1996, the BLMand the USDA Forest Service (FS) announced a cooperative riparian-wetland man-agement strategy, which would include the NRCS as a principal partner. A NationalRiparian Service Team was formed to act as a catalyst for implementing thisstrategy
    3. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), andthe Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), formerly the Soil ConservationService, worked together to develop the PFC method. The methodology forassessing the condition of running water (lotic) systems is presented in BLMTechnical Reference (TR) 1737-9, Process for Assessing Proper FunctioningCondition (Prichard et al. 1993), and the methodology for standing water (lentic)systems is presented in TR 1737-11, Process for Assessing Proper FunctioningCondition for Lentic Riparian-Wetland Areas (Prichard et al. 1994).