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Incorporating ecological and nonecological concerns in the restoration of a rare, high-elevation Bebb willow riparian community

Posted date: September 24, 2014
Publication Year: 
2001
Authors: DeWald, Laura E.; Springer, Abe E.
Publication Series: 
Proceedings (P)
Source: In: Vance, Regina K.; Edminster, Carleton B.; Covington, W. Wallace; Blake, Julie A., comps. Ponderosa pine ecosystems restoration and conservation: steps toward stewardship; 2000 April 25-27; Flagstaff, AZ. Proceedings RMRS-P-22. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 134-140.
Note: This article is part of a larger document.

Abstract

Activities were initiated by The Nature Conservancy, the USDA Forest Service, and the Northern Arizona University School of Forestry and Department of Geology in 1996 to restore hydrologic and ecological function to a high-elevation Bebb willow (Salix bebbiana) and mixed grass riparian community in Hart Prairie, near Flagstaff, AZ. Initial restoration removed small water diversions above the willow community to restore hydrologic flow to the downslope community. Because of the small scale of this effort, the viewshed, recreation, and wildlife in the area were not affected. Subsequent monitoring indicated that although restoration increased water availability and improved Bebb willow water status, soil moisture conditions were still below those needed for willow seed germination and seedling growth. Therefore, the long-term sustainability of the Bebb willow community is still at risk. Current restoration plans are to manipulate the upslope watershed to provide additional water needed for willow regeneration. This restoration will include removing stock tanks, thinning trees encroaching into the meadow above the willows, and burning to restore the upslope area to its historic nonforested, prairie condition. These plans could significantly impact aesthetics, wildlife, and recreation in the area. In addition, Indian Tribes who consider the San Francisco Peaks to be sacred and the general public may have concerns with these restoration activities. This paper discusses our efforts to address these issues while still providing sufficient ecosystem restoration for long-term sustainability of the Bebb willow-mixed grass community.

Citation

DeWald, Laura E.; Springer, Abe E. 2001. Incorporating ecological and nonecological concerns in the restoration of a rare, high-elevation Bebb willow riparian community. In: Vance, Regina K.; Edminster, Carleton B.; Covington, W. Wallace; Blake, Julie A., comps. Ponderosa pine ecosystems restoration and conservation: steps toward stewardship; 2000 April 25-27; Flagstaff, AZ. Proceedings RMRS-P-22. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 134-140.