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Mark Teply, Cramer Fish Sciences, markt@fishsciences.net (Presenter)
Dale McGreer, Western Watershed Analysts, djmcgreer@cableone.net

 

The state of Idaho has been in the process of revising rules guiding riparian timber harvest activities. To inform decision-making, we used simulation modeling to demonstrate differences in a) maximum riparian function, and b) response to management. Using an extensive dataset, we identified five forest types with different maximum stocking potentials. Within each, several riparian management alternatives were evaluated. Large woody debris recruitment and stream shade potential were evaluated using riparian output simulators. We found that trends in maximum wood and shade potential matched trends in maximum stocking. The response to forest management was influenced by stream width, initial stocking, and trend in stocking at time of harvest. Simulation models indicated that use of an inner no-harvest zone could dramatically limit losses in wood recruitment and stream shade. Simulation models also indicated long-term benefits to riparian function when using active management. This information helped us develop rule recommendations that provide opportunities for economic timber harvest while remaining protective of aquatic resources. Simulation outputs represent hypotheses to be tested through habitat effectiveness monitoring.