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Resource Concerns

Natural Resource Concerns

Water Quality 

  • Water temperature exceeds state standards in a number of stream reaches
  • Sediment from human activities (roads, irrigation, under-sized culverts, off-road vehicles) has degraded aquatic habitat
  • Bacteria source reduction, management and control

Stream flow and hydrology

  • Inadequate summer/fall flows in several tributaries
  • Loss of floodplains
  • Altered upland hydrologic regime

Fish populations and habitat

  • Native fish populations have declined compared to historic conditions, prompting ESA listings
  • Aquatic habitat (pool area, pool frequency, and gravel availability) is below desirable levels, and large, woody debris channel complexity is reduced compared to historic conditions.
  • Fish migration barriers (culverts, dams, diversions) and inadequate fish screens negatively impact fish populations

Riparian conditions

  • Inadequate healthy riparian vegetation to protect waterways and moderate solar radiation
  • Inadequate large, woody debris recruitment potential to sustain aquatic life
  • Reduced habitat and increased flood damage from streams that have been channelized and cut off from historic flood plains

Upland conditions and Other Natural Resource Concerns

  • Invasive species including juniper out-competing native and cultivated plants
  • Percentage of forest canopy and rangeland cover is low compared to historical levels exacerbating flooding and impacting streams, groundwater recharge, wildlife, and other resources
  • Diseased, overstocked forests as a result of suppression of natural wildfire regimes and/or lack of forest management
  • Soil erosion and other pollution
  • Reduced quality of native and managed plant communities

Operational Resource Concerns

  • Adequate staffing to meet natural resource concerns and office functions while not limiting productivity
  • Data gaps – fish passage barriers, updated watershed assessment, acquire geo-data
  • Incomplete Soil Survey

Fiscal Resource Concerns

  • Conservation investments are not a priority for landowners with other, more pressing financial needs
  • Some resource concerns (i.e. noxious weeds or upland habitat) have reduced funding due to fisheries-focused watershed restoration priorities
  • Reliance on “soft” sources of state funding makes long-term budgeting and planning difficult and leaves the District vulnerable to state budget shortfalls