Assessment & Restoration Planning at Multiple Scales Assessment & Restoration Planning of Forests, Streams, Watersheds & Wetlands

Watershed Assessment

Chris has served in the capacity of Project Manager, Technical Lead, and Ecologist to complete numerous watershed assessments in the Pacific Northwest, with a focus on quantifying the upland and riparian vegetation resources, disturbance patterns, and land-management goals. Work has been focused on forestry issues, restoration/ enhancement of stream functions, and land use management. He is particularly known to apply next generation assessment tools that focus on tools to evaluate on how managment options affect ecosystem services and functioning.

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Wilson River Watershed Analysis. Oregon Department of Forestry, Salem, Oregon. Project duration: 2/2007 to 3/2008. Chris worked with a team to conduct a watershed assessment in Northwestern Oregon following a modified version of the Oregon Watershed Assessment protocol. Chris served as the riparian and upland vegetation specialist to assess the patterns and trends of the vegetation, develop the preferred/ desired future conditions of the vegetative conditions, and to provide recommendations for riparian enhancement to improve fisheries habitats. Work involved the fine-scale mapping and modeling of forest growth and mortality over a 100 year timeframe, and identified time lags where large wood was limiting to the stream system.

North Fork Coeur d'Alene River Watershed Assessment. Coeur d'Alene River Basin, Idaho, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. Project duration: 09/2005 to 3/2007. In 2001 the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality completed a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) assessment of the North Fork Coeur d'Alene River Basin. The TMDL was developed primarily for coarse sediment inputs to the system. Chris evaluated the current vegetation patterns and developed a suite of reference conditions for use with modeling the effects of management scenarios (primarily timber harvest and road construction) on sediment inputs and stream dynamics in the Basin. Developed vegetation parameters for a distributed hydrology, soils and vegetation model to quantify the inputs.

Conger Wildland/Urban Interface Fire and Fuels Reduction Environmental Assessment (EA). Newport and Sullivan Lake Ranger Districts, Colville National Forest. Project Duration: 10/2004 - 12/2005. Lead ecologist and technical project manager for a fuels reduction and timber harvest project within the wildland-urban interface of Forest Service lands in NE Washington. The 5,700 acre analysis area is highly diverse with a complex mosaic of both fire-dependent and fire-intolerant communities. Prepared the Fire/Fuels and Silviculture Specialist Reports for NEPA documents. Assessed the current and potential natural plant communities using aerial photography and ground truth analysis, modeled fire behavior at local (stand) and landscape (analysis area) scales, with the goal to restore the historic and natural range of variability in forest composition, structure, and fire regimes.

Drews Creek Watershed Analysis. Goose Lake Basin, Oregon, Fremont-Winema National Forest. Project duration: 10/2005 to 8/2006. Chris served as the lead ecologist for a 170,000 acre watershed analysis for US Forest Service near Lakeview, OR. He developed an aerial photo interpretation protocol to delineate homogeneous vegetation patterns and to provide detailed information as to species, size, and canopy cover among forested layers; riparian zones were attributed with coarse classifications that followed the Forest plant association guidelines. Data generated were used to quantify and describe the major vegetation types on the landscape, their forest stand development stages, fire regimes, snag distribution and recruitment, riparian vegetation types among different channel types, stream shading, and LWD recruitment. A suite of desired future conditions were developed following the Forest management plan, and treatment recommendations were provided (including silvicultural options) to improve forest health, minimize fire risk, and increase riparian zone interaction with the stream channel.

Canyon Creek Watershed Assessment. John Day River Basin, Oregon, Malheur National Forest. Project duration: 11/2002 to 08/2003. Participated in an interdisciplinary team to conduct an ecosystem analysis for the Canyon Creek watershed in eastern Oregon (~75,000 acres). Focus was on historic and current vegetation structure, composition, and functioning with respect to disturbance events (timber harvest, fire, insects and diseases). Quantified forest structure and composition, and classified stands as to their potential for uncharacteristically severe wildland fires within the wildland-urban interface (WUI). Provided recommendations for site-specific silvicultural and prescribed fire treatments that would be required to re-introduce fire as an important disturbance process to minimize crown fire hazards. Results have been incorporated into decision-making documents (NEPA) with an ultimate goal to reduce large-scale fire hazards within local urban and rural communities in the Canyon City/ John Day area.