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Community BasedWetland Mitigation and Watershed Planning Nolan Center, 10/17/11
Objectives Introduce the Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition and what we do Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources- 2008 Final Rule Our work to support Wetland Management on the local level Watershed Assessments and Planning for Mitigation
Southeast Alaska Watershed Coalition(SAWC) • Focuses on the watershedWe advocate on the local, state and • Uses science, local federal level for knowledge and research Community-based to inform decision-making Watershed • Emphasizes collaborative Management problem solving, and (CBWM) • Local citizens, institutions and organizations are the primary stakeholders
Why Community-Based WatershedManagement? The health of our communities and economies depend on the health of our watersheds. The concerns of the community and the benefits derived from the opportunities within our watersheds should be central to natural resources and land management planning and decision making.
How SAWC Supports CBWM in SEAK Sharing knowledge and resources Building economies of scale Building a regional voice for Community Based Watershed Management
Why is wetland mitigation management on the local, state and federal level important to us? Watershed practitioners on the local level are mitigators. The majority of the projects these groups develop and carry-out support the development of community-based mitigation priorities and/or are forms of mitigation
Mitigation is Defined as: The act of restoring, enhancing, creating, stewarding/ preserving prioritized and/or critical habitat in a watershed.
Compensatory Mitigation-2008Federal Rule Mitigation projects were not achieving functional lift of habitat and the nation was failing to reach its goal of “no net loss” State to state and within states there were vast discrepancies in how wetland mitigation was being carried out
What is the Intention of the New Rule? Provided a standard “outlined” process for federal, state and local agencies to utilize in developing management strategies for wetland mitigation Use of best available science Predictability and efficient Improves the planning, implementation and management of compensatory mitigation projects Clarifies the Watershed Approach
SAWC’S Role in Locally Based WetlandPlanning and ManagementCoordinating trainings on wetland mitigation processes for community professionals: Wetland delineations Watershed Planning Developing a third-party mitigation program Mitigation Banks In-lieu Fee Programs Ad hoc
SAWC’S Role in Locally Based WetlandPlanning and Management Working with communities to identify mitigation opportunities Mitigation Programs Mitigation Projects Working with state and federal agencies to shape policy strategies that respond to the unique characteristics of SE communities
Who/What Benefits from Wetland MitigationManagement and ProgramsCommunity Economy Jobs Developers Less money, resources, time wasted Landowners during permitting and constructing Improve recreational/tourist sites Local citizens Mitigate important habitat for Local governments commercial species Flood prevention Tribes Water quality Subsistence users Subsistence
Who/What benefits from wetland mitigationmanagement and programsWatersheds Sustainable development: strategically planned development Conservation and restoration Water quality Water quantity Subsistence resources
Juneau Watershed Partnership Formed in 1998, local citizen and agency stakeholder group Non-profit organization that works to promote sustainable use and community stewardship of Juneau’s watersheds Raised over $1 million in grant and individual donations since 1998
Objectives Community Based Wetland Mitigation and Watershed Planning in Juneau Benefits of Community Based Watershed Planning Case Study: Auke Lake Watershed Assessment Identifying and Prioritizing Restoration and Enhancement Activities for Mitigation
Juneau’s Community Based WetlandMitigation and Watershed Management Watershed Assessments and Management Plans Community Events and Community Meetings Support Local Restoration, Enhancement and Mitigation Trainings Evaluating Past Restoration, Enhancement and Mitigation Projects (REM Report) Prioritizing and Digitizing Restoration, Enhancement and Mitigation Opportunities. (REM Part 2) Partnering with SAWC on regional efforts
Benefits of Watershed Assessments Engaging Community/ Stakeholders Proactively Participation and Collaboration Ecological/ Landscape Approach Baseline “Snapshot of Time” = Documenting Existing Conditions Framework for grant opportunities, planning priorities, mitigation
Case Study- Auke Lake Identified Problem Recommendations for Sustainable Use and Development, Restoration and Enhancement Agency, Landowners and Community Collaboration Compile Existing Data to Inform Development
First Steps Identified Goals and Assembled an Advisory Objectives Group Key Stakeholders Hosted meeting, - GIS maps, Outline, Past Project Scope Research Baseline Maps
Project Partners Municipalities Non-Profits US Forest Service University of Alaska AK Fish and Game Wetland Review AK DEC Board NRCS User Groups Tribal Governments Neighbors
Components of a Watershed AssessmentWatershed Delineation Hydrology/ Hydrological and Description Function Land Ownership Contributing Water Sources Land Use Planning Rivers, Stream, Tribs, Lakes, Wetlands
Components of a Watershed Assessment (Cont.)Water Quality Landforms/ Geology Habitat Conditions Water Use Designations Channel Alterations Water Rights Bank/Riparian Disturbances Known Pollutants- Point Source Fish Passage Other Pollutants- Non-Point Source
Components of a Watershed Assessment(Cont.)Fish and Fish Habitat Geology, Plants, Wildlife Species Present Invasive Plants Seasonal Distribution Wildlife Corridors and Studies, Counts, Habitat Hatchery Stocking
Components of a Watershed Assessment(Cont.)Cultural, Historical and Management, Recovery, Current Human Use Stewardship Land Use/ Goals and Action Development Items Recreational/ Restoration, Commercial Use Enhancement
Community InvolvementNeighborhood Survey Activities (Use), Values, Concerns, Suggestions for ChangeCommunity Meeting Feedback on draft plan and maps Concerns, Uses (Past and Present), Values
Project Outcomes Distributed to municipality, local agencies, community groups Posted online on our Electronic Watershed Resource Library Auke Lake Action Plan Mitigation Planning
Other Forms of Watershed Plans Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) Watershed Assessments Watershed Management Plans Watershed Conservation Plans Watershed Action Plans Wetland Function and Values Analysis Comprehensive Plans
Documenting and Prioritizing PotentialRestoration and Enhancement Projects Geographic Footprint Identifying Problems by Watershed Landownership Land Use Designations Impacted/ Impaired Function Expected Outcomes Recommended Action
Documenting and Prioritizing PotentialRestoration and Enhancement Projects Agency, Landowner, Stakeholder, Tribal Entity, and Native Corporation Collaboration Opportunities Constraints/ Complications Budgets Permits Potential Partners
Questions or Comments?alaskawatershedcoalition.org Thank you!