Integrated Resource Restoration Reporting, Guidance, and Directives
Measuring Integrated Resource Restoration Performance
Restoration of ecological integrity across the National Forest System will be achieved through a variety of on-the-ground projects. Examples include:
- Thinning forests to reduce catastrophic wildfire risk, the restore older matrix forest types, to restore and enhance wildlife, native plants and biodiversity;
- Using prescribed fire to achieve similar goals;
- Replacing undersized culverts to restore aquatic organism passage and reduce stream bank erosion;
- Decommissioning roads to reduce legacy impacts to hydrology, water quality and aquatic habitat; and
- Restoring degrading and eroding meadows and wetlands to improve hydrology, reduce flood peaks, and restore aquatic and terrestrial habitat.
Integrated Resource Restoration accomplishments will be reflected in five performance measures:
- Number of watersheds moved to an improved condition class,
- Acres treated annually to sustain or restore watershed function and resilience,
- Volume of timber sold,
- Miles of roads decommissioned, and
- Miles of stream habitat restored or enhanced.
|Integrated Resource Restoration Performance Measures FY 2012|| Northern Region
|Number of watersheds moved to an improved condition class \1||2||0 \2||1||3|
|Acres treated annually to sustain or restore watershed function and resilience||240,700||283,100||225,000||748,800|
|Volume of timber sold (mmbf)||282||120||116||518|
|Miles of roads decommissioned||345||115||190||650|
|Miles of stream habitat restored or enhanced||300||130||220||650|
Watershed Condition Framework and Priority Watersheds
A critical component of the successful implementation of Integrated Resource Restoration is the Watershed Condition Framework. The framework provides foundation and guidance for consistent identification of factors limiting a watershed’s condition, for determining the overall condition class of a watershed, for identifying the priority watersheds to focus restoration efforts, and the essential suite of projects to improve a watershed’s condition. The three regions have assessed the condition class of all of their 5,926 watersheds containing significant portions of National Forest System lands. Among them, 78 watersheds were selected to be priorities for restoration activities in the next 3 to 5 years.
|Number of Watersheds by Condition Class||R1||R3||R4||Pilot Total||% of Total|
|Condition Class 1 (Good)||1,078||559||1,133||2,770||47%|
|Condition Class 2 (Fair)||826||890||1,153||2,869||48%|
|Condition Class 3 (Poor)||48||97||142||287||5%|
|Number of Priority Watersheds||25||15||38||78||n/a|
Pilot Regions Evaluations and Monitoring
To evaluate the effectiveness of the Forest Service’s Integrated Resource Restoration Pilot Authority, Regions 1, 3, and 4 will submit accomplishment reports. Information will be compiled into a national report illustrating how the Integrated Resource Restoration Pilot Authority addressed operational efficiencies and met desired outcomes. Regions will submit the following:
- Three to five case studies from each region, showcasing accomplishments and successes implementing the Integrated Resource Restoration authority;
- Description of outcomes associated with activities to improve watershed condition within the context of the Watershed Condition Framework;
- Examples of combined focus and funding with Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program and other agency strategies;
- Description of how consolidation of multiple budget line items affected programs/activities/project selection;
- Advantages and disadvantages of a consolidated budget line item (NFRR);
- Recommendations on how Integrated Resource Restoration Program can be improved; and
- Communication tools and/or websites highlighting to the public aspects of Integrated Resource Restoration pilot implementation.
A report of the Integrated Resource Restoration Pilot Authority summarizing the first year’s accomplishments from Regions 1, 3, and 4 will be completed November 30, 2012.
Geo-Spatial Record Keeping and Reporting
In October 2012, a letter was sent out requiring spatial data where the Forest Service Activity Tracking System (FACTS) is the database of record for Integrated Resource Restoration activities. Then, in April, a joint letter was sent out clarifying the geo-spatial record keeping and reporting requirements for Fuels, Forest Management, and Invasive activities. The standards and protocols outlined in the April letter should be applied when reporting geo-spatial activities for NFRR funded accomplishments. This April letter generated some clarifying questions, the answers to which can be found in the below questions and answer document. Reporting requirements in other databases, such as the Watershed Improvement Tracking (WIT), will be clarified after the WIT and Wildlife, Fish and Rare Plants (WFRP) integration is complete.