Presentation on theme: "Wetland and Riparian Mapping in Montana Karen Newlon, Montana Natural Heritage Program Helena, MT Montana Wetland Council University of Montana-Missoula."— Presentation transcript:
Wetland and Riparian Mapping in Montana Karen Newlon, Montana Natural Heritage Program Helena, MT Montana Wetland Council University of Montana-Missoula March 26, 2014
Wetland and riparian digital mapping is a data layer in the Montana Spatial Data Infrastructure. Goal: create statewide digital wetland and riparian mapping. Wetlands & Riparian Mapping
Wetland and Riparian Mapping Center Started in 2006 with funding from an EPA Wetland Program Development Grant Six full-time GIS specialists Have access to necessary infrastructure and software Funding comes from many partners
Established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1974 Goal: conduct a nationwide inventory of wetlands in the U.S. Adopted classification system to describe wetlands and deepwater habitats based on hydrology, vegetation, and soils Preliminary tool-non-regulatory National Wetlands Inventory
Standard for wetland mapping in the U.S. Coding convention using letters and numbers Describes vegetation type, water regime, and any alterations Similar classification system for riparian areas developed in 1997 Wetland Mapping using the Cowardin Classification System
Wetland definition (Cowardin et al. 1979): Lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water. For the purposes of this classification wetlands must have one or more of the following three attributes: 1.at least periodically, the land supports predominantly hydrophytes 2.the substrate is predominantly undrained hydric soil 3.the substrate is nonsoil and is saturated with water or covered by shallow water at some time during the growing season of each year.
Riparian definition: Plant communities contiguous to and affected by surface and subsurface hydrologic features of rivers, streams, lakes, or drainage ways. Riparian areas are usually transitional between wetland and upland. Different vegetative species than adjacent areas. The same species but exhibiting more vigorous or robust growth forms.
Riparian Mapping Woody riparian areas associated with lotic systems are the predominant features Emergent cover is also mapped if imagery allows for identification of these features
Limitations? Considered reconnaissance level information Prepared based on photointerpretation of aerial imagery Wetlands are identified based on vegetation, visible hydrology, and geography Mapping accuracy depends upon image quality, image date, and image analyst experience Mapped wetlands are not “jurisdictional” wetlands ON-THE-GROUND INSPECTION IS REQUIRED!
Why Update Wetland Mapping? Historic mapping underestimates areal extent of wetlands Riparian areas were not mapped Availability of digital mapping Robust ancillary datasets Rigorous data standards Increased ability to delineate and classify accurately Land use changes
Uses of Wetland and Riparian Mapping Complete picture of wetland and riparian resources in Montana Evaluate wetland losses/gains Preliminary site assessment for the presence of wetlands Facility and transportation/corridor siting Conservation incentive programs (WRP) Conservation area planning NAWCA grants Tribal wetland protection ordinances Restoration planning Fisheries protection Floodplain management Water quality protection Watershed restoration Plant and wildlife survey stratification
Wetland and Riparian Map Training Data access and download Understanding mapping classification systems Appropriate uses and limitations of mapping Real-world examples of how mapping is used
Acknowledgments Funding partners Past and Present Photo Interpreters/GIS Specialists Gary Carnefix, Joe Fortier, Jamul Hahn, Robin Lium, Katie Nicolato, Sara Owen, and Kyla Zaret