RMRS Air, Water, & Aquatic Environments Science Program RMRS Air, Water, & Aquatic Environments Science Program

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About the Rocky Mountain Research Station
   
 

AWAE Program Headquarters
322 East Front St., Ste 401

Boise, ID 83702

(208) 373-4340

 


Rocky Mountain Research Station Headquarters

2150 Centre Ave., Bldg A
Fort Collins, CO 80526

(970) 295-5923

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

USDA Link Forest Service Link

 

Cascabel Watershed Study

 

The Cascabel Watershed Study was initiated in 1999 by Southwestern Borderlands Ecosystem Management Project, Rocky Mountain Unit RMRS-4651, now part of the Forest and Woodlands Ecosystems Science Program of the Rocky Mountain Research Station.  The Southwest Watershed Team of the Rocky Mountain Station's Air, Water and Aquatics Science Program, previously Research Work Unit RMRS-4302, Watersheds and Riparian Ecosystems of Forests and Woodlands in the Semi-Arid West, is a major partner on the study by collaborating with sedimentation and fire effects research and assisting with general technician and research support.

 

 

Cascabel Fire

 

Cascabel Watershed Study

The project is located on the eastern side of the Peloncillo Mountains, in southwestern New Mexico.  Burn treatments are scheduled for 2008 and will be implemented by the Douglas Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest.

 

This study is a collaborative interdisciplinary project to determine the effects of cool season and warm season prescribed burning on an oak-savanna ecosystem common to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.  Other cooperators include: the Coronado National Forest, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Animas Foundation, Diamond A Ranch, the Malpai Borderlands Group, the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University School of Forestry and The Nature Conservancy.  The specific objective of this study is to use a paired-watershed approach to understand the effects of cool season and warm season prescribed burning on the hydrology and sedimentation dynamics of a southwestern oak-savanna ecosystem and to provide baseline hydrological information about watersheds within this vegetative zone.  The Cascabel Watershed Study utilizes an ecosystem approach that also includes investigations on the effects of seasonal fire on soil nutrient dynamics, overstory and herbaceous vegetation, and selected wildlife species. 

 

The study area consists of 12 small watersheds that are representative of the oak savanna ecosystem and are ideal for a replicated paired-watershed study because of  their common location, accessibility, relative sizes, distinct channel formations, and similar vegetation characteristics. Small and large flumes were constructed on each watershed and instrumented in 2001 to measure streamflow.  Erosion and sedimentation are measured at side-slope stations with erosion pins, at permanent channel cross-sections, and in sediment dams near the flumes.  Two weather stations are also located within the experimental area. Approximately 5 transects have been established per watershed to measure other ecosystem characteristics.

 

Cascabel Watershed Study Area - Digital Raster Graphic

 

The Cascabel Watershed Study was established to provide hydrologic data on an ecosystem where virtually none existed.  This information has been requested by the Coronado National Forest and its cooperators and will be used to aid in sound land management decisions.  The baseline data from this study will also increase knowledge about the hydrology, soil characteristics, and ecology of southwestern oak-savanna watersheds.

 

For further information on the Cascabel Watershed Study please choose from the links below:

Related Cascabel Watershed Articles:

Gottfried, Gerald; Neary, Daniel; Ffolliott, Peter; Koestner, Karen  2012.  Cascabel prescribed fire long-term watershed study: an opportunity to monitor climate change.   In: Revisiting Experimental Catchment Studies in Forest Hydrology; Proceedings of a Workshop held during the XXV IUGG General Assembly in Melbourne, June-July 2011. IAHS Publ 353.

 

Koestner, K.A., D.G. Neary, G.J. Gottfried and R. Morales. 2008. Characteristics and behavior of a cool-season prescribed fire in the oak savannas of the Southwestern Borderlands. In: Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest, Proceedings of the 2008 Meetings: Hydrology Section Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 38: 41-46.

 

Koestner, K.A., D.G. Neary and G.J. Gottfried. 2008. Comparing bedload conditions in the Cascabel Watersheds, Coronado National Forest. In: Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest, Proceedings of the 2008 Meetings: Hydrology Section Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 38: 33-40.

 

Gottfried, Gerald J.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Neary, Daniel G.  2007.  Hydrology of southwestern encinal oak ecosystems: A review and more.  Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest. 37: 19-30.

 

Kauffman, Aaron T.; Stropki, Cody L.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Neary, Daniel G.  2007.  Hillslope erosion rates in the oak savannas of the southwestern borderlands region.  Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest. 37: 15-18.

 

Ffolliott, P.F.; Stropki, C.L.; Gottfried, G.J.; Neary, D.G. 2006. Initial estimate of soil erosion on the Cascabel watersheds in the oak savannas of the Malpai Borderlands region. Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest 35:51-52.

 

Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.  2005.  Vegetative characteristics of oak savannas in the southwestern United States: a comparative analysis with oak woodlands in the region  pp. 399-402.  In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Edminster, Carleton B., comps. Connecting mountain islands and desert seas: biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago II. Proc. RMRS-P-36. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 399-402.

 

Neary, D.G.; Gottfried, G.J. 2005. Geomorphology of small watersheds in an oak encinal in the Peloncillo Mountains. Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest 34:65-71.

 

Gottfried, G.J.; Neary, D.G.; Bemis, R.J.  2003.  Assessing the impacts of prescribed burning on soil and water resources of oak savannas in the southwestern United States. Pp. 115-122. In: Chamie, J.P.M. (ed.) Proceedings of the International Arid Lands Consortium Conference and Workshop, Assessing Capabilities of Soil and Water Resources in Drylands: The Role of Information Retrieval and Dissemination Technologies October 20-25, 2002 , Tucson, AZ. Office of Arid Lands Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson.

 

Gottfried, G.J.; Neary, D.G.; Bemis, R.J.  2002. Assessing the hydrologic impacts of cool season and warm season prescribed burning on the oak savannas of the southwestern borderlands. Pp. 56-57. In: Halvorson, H.L.; Gebow B.S. (eds.) Proceedings of the 4th Conference on Research and Resource Management in the Southwestern Deserts, Tucson, AZ, May 15-17, 2002.

 

Gottfried, G.J.; Neary, D.G.; Bemis, R.J. 2000.  Watershed characteristics of oak savannas in the southwestern borderlands. Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest 30: 21-28.

 

Rocky Mountain Research Station - Air, Water and Aquatic Environments Sciences Program
Last Modified:  Wednesday, 23-Jul-2014 12:12:40 CDT

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