This project is an interdisciplinary working group focused on collecting, documenting, exchanging, and archiving information about Region 4 (R4) groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs), particularly springs and wetlands.Current partners include Kate Dwire (RMRS), John Proctor (R4 Botanist), Mark Muir (R4 Hydrologist), Cynthia Tait (R4 Aquatic Program Manager), and Jeff Bruggink (R4 Soil Scientist).
Team members are building on work initiated by the USFS Groundwater Program, particularly in promoting the inventory of GDEs using the USFS Level 1 GDE Inventory Field Guide, and continue to work closely with Joe Gurrieri and others members of the Groundwater Program to stay informed on progress in GDE conservation on public lands nationwide. RMRS Research Ecologist Kate Dwire has conducted trainings in the use of the Level 1 protocols to staff on the Ashley and Bridger-Teton National Forests, with travel funds provided by RMRS-R4 Science-Management Partner Program. Improved assessments of GDE resources foster conservation through stronger forest plans, contribute to management strategies, and potentially locate new populations of rare biota (rare plants and spring snails) and other resources.
The team serves as a liaison between Region 4 and their partners including: