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Watershed Approaches and Community Based Planning

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Presentation on theme: "Watershed Approaches and Community Based Planning"— Presentation transcript:

1 Watershed Approaches and Community Based Planning
Presented by Dave Griffith Stakeholder Involvement in Watershed Management Workshop November 30, 2006 ARDC Mead with additional slides from Craig Goodwin Chris Hamilton Dan Lawson Verlon Barnes

2 Where We’re Headed Overview of where RWA fits into NRCS programs
Community Based Planning Stakeholder and Partner Involvement

3 NRCS Strategic Plan 2005-2010 Overarching Strategies:
Cooperative Conservation Market-Based Approach Watershed Approach

4 Why a Watershed Approach?
Watersheds are universal well-defined areas that provide a common basis for discussion of water, related resources, and landscape processes. Watershed Outlet

5 NRCS Planning Continuum
Utilize a progressive and iterative approach to watershed-scale planning. Planning assistance occurs along a continuum and can be provided at various levels of intensity, depending on the scope and complexity of the resource problems, the target audience, available technologies, and local interest and commitment.

6 What is a Rapid Watershed Assessment?

7 What are RWAs? Rapid Watershed Assessments:
Are summaries of resource concerns and opportunities. Provide initial estimates of where conservation investments would best address resources concerns. Are the product of a process which evaluates resource conditions and needs on an 8-digit hydrologic unit basis. Interim Guidance 1. Developed in December 2005 as interim guidance in preparation for the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative 2. Provides procedural and process steps for completing rapid watershed assessments 3. Illustrates the use of rapid watershed assessments in area-wide or watershed planning

8 8-Digit Hydrologic Units
69 HUs in Nebraska (38 primarily in Nebraska) Average HU size = 1,637 mi² (1,047,000 acres) HUs are accounting areas, not necessarily watersheds 250,000 acre limit in PL-566, or an average of 4 per HU. Remember, I said estimate 36 months for a Watershed Plan, or 144 months for a HU.

9 + Definition of Terms Rapid Watershed Assessment Resource Profile
Summary Matrix +

10 Resource Profile A descriptive set of data portraying the significant natural resource features of the watershed.

11 Resource Profile Use of Geographic Information System (GIS)
Conservation planning teams working in each watershed: Meeting with landowners and conservation groups Inventorying agricultural areas Assessing current levels of resource management Identifying conservation recommendations Making qualitative estimates of the impacts of conservation on local resource concerns

12 Assessment Matrix An evaluation of watershed resources to determine the size, scope, and value of natural resource needs.

13 Assessment Matrix Matrix to summarize the following:
Current resource conditions and O&M costs Desired resource conditions Conservation practice and system recommendations and operation and maintenance costs Qualitative effects on primary resource concerns Potential funding sources for implementation

14 Level of Assessment Limited in detail due to the restricted data collection associated with the process: Does not address cumulative effects Does not address infrastructure needs Tends to be qualitative, not quantitative in nature A more extensive planning process would be used to collect detailed information for Area Wide Community Based Planning. It should be noted that this level of assessment only itemizes costs for on-farm conservation and not for accompanying infrastructure changes that may also be needed, such as new irrigation delivery systems, flood protection, extensive structural stream restoration, etc. Infrastructure changes usually require a more in-depth analysis than permitted in rapid watershed assessment. The need for infrastructure changes should be acknowledged if identified during the assessment process. As mentioned above, in order to bolster the quantitative nature of the data with regard to cumulative effects or infrastructure needs at the watershed level, further planning activity would be required through a locally-led watershed or areawide planning process. The process anticipated for use at this point would be PL-566 watershed planning or areawide planning, and would be entered into when the rapid watershed assessment identifies the need for either structural or potentially controversial solutions to resource problems. In these instances, the more extensive planning process would be used to collect much more detailed information related to the specific effects of the proposed actions.

15 Blackbird-Soldier HU Pilot RWA
Covers NE and IA NE = 810 mi2 14 sub-watersheds Parts of 4 counties Omaha and Winnebago Reservations

16 RWA’s are: One Component of Strategic Plan watershed approach
Will be used as a platform for conservation program delivery Is being implemented as a pilot effort

17 Current Status of Resource Assessments in Nebraska

18 How do Rapid Watershed Assessments Relate to the Area Wide Community Based Planning Process?

19 Relationship Between the NRCS Planning Process and RWA
Phase I - Collection and Analysis 1. Identify Problems 2. Determine Objectives 3. Inventory Resources 4. Analyze Resource Data Phase II - Decision Support 5. Formulate Alternatives 6. Evaluate Alternatives 7. Make Decisions Phase III - Application and Evaluation 8. Implement the Plan 9. Evaluate the Plan RWA Planning Implementation Follow-up/Adapt. Man. Rapid Watershed Assessment addresses the first six steps of the NRCS planning process on a broad scale. The information is general in nature and is not sufficiently detailed to be used as a plan. However, the information is a solid starting point to use in a more detailed area wide or watershed planning effort. Guidance for these planning efforts can be found in the NRCS National Planning Procedures Handbook, the Basin and Area Planning Manual, or the National Watershed Manual.

20 NRCS Water Resources Programs and Rapid Watershed Assessment

21 Community Based Planning What is it?
Moving from Rapid Watershed Assessments to Community Based Planning Community Based Planning What is it?

Community Based Planning is a voluntary, locally led planning process that integrates social, economic, and environmental concerns over a defined geographic area (such as; a county, a watershed, or a region).

What is the desired product?

A planning process that results in the development of A comprehensive Management Plan that is Fully Implemented

Key Components- 1. A common Vision of desired conditions 2. Identification of Objectives to reach vision 3. Opportunities and concerns drive the process 4. Utilizes adaptive management 5. Utilizes facilitation 6. Communication and Education are important 7. Documentation and Evaluation of outcomes

26 Community Based Planning Process
Part A. PRE-PLANNING ACTIVITIES Identify a Project Sponsor. Explain the Community Based Planning Process and it’s benefits. Explain the roles each group or entity plays. Identify the Project Coordinator. Identify the planning area on a map.

27 Community Based Planning Process
Part A. PRE-PLANNING ACTIVITIES Gather any readily available maps or data. Brainstorm for other sources of information and data. Obtain a written commitment from the sponsor to move forward with the planning process.

28 Community Based Planning Process
Part A. PRE-PLANNING ACTIVITIES Establish a Technical Advisory Team made up of key resource people. Brainstorm to identify key stakeholders in the planning area. Invite all interested stakeholders, agencies, and organizations to initial public meeting.

29 Community Based Planning Process
Part B. PLANNING PROCESS STEPS PHASE I – Collection and Analysis 1. Identify Opportunities and Concerns 2. Determine Objectives 3. Inventory Resources 4. Analyze Resource Data

30 Community Based Planning Process
Part B. PLANNING PROCESS STEPS PHASE I I – Decision Support 5. Formulate Alternatives 6. Evaluate Alternatives 7. Make Decisions

31 Community Based Planning Process
Part B. PLANNING PROCESS STEPS PHASE III – Application and Evaluation 8. Implement the Plan 9. Evaluate the Effects of the Plan 10. Celebrate Successes

Community and stakeholders are much more informed about what is happening. Community and stakeholders have the opportunity to be actively involved in the decisions made. Projects completed are more successful. Implementation goes smoother because of community acceptance during the planning process.

33 Community Based Watershed Plans

34 Promoting Stakeholder Involvement Throughout the Planning Process
Work with stakeholders to identify the resource problems. Find out what they are able and willing to do to address the identified problems. Find out which partners are willing to participate (NRCS, RC&D’s, NDEQ, UNL Extension, NRD’s, other state agencies, private conservation groups) and what resources they can bring to the table.

35 Things to Consider When Defining an Area
What is the scope of the problem? What is the area to be protected or benefited (water body on 303d list, public water supply, etc)? Is there a local group formed already? Is the area small enough to have a sense of “community”?

36 Things to Consider When Defining Area (continued)
What is the balance between available resources and conservation needs. Will what the group is willing to do adequately address the problem?

37 Recommendations Make sure you have adequate financial and technical assistance resources to ensure success. Keep Project sized appropriately to be able to show a difference with the available resources. Keep lines of communication open to all partners.

38 Are There Questions? North Blackbird Creek



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