Bedrock BioBlitz: Monitoring Riparian Restoration for Adaptive Management

Project #: 197644  –   Updated: March 18, 2013

Project Summary

Wildlife habitat restoration projects are often initiated with the objective of increasing habitat suitability
for a single species or suite of species. Often, it is assumed that habitat restoration for a focal species
will concomitantly benefit the habitat for other wildlife species as well. Biological assessments that have
a broad scope of inquiry are required in order to determine the full effect a restoration project has on
wildlife. However, this critical phase of restoration is often omitted; mainly due to the time and expense
required to implement a comprehensive baseline invent...

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Location (by county):
Montrose County (CO)

Watersheds:
Upper Dolores

Congressional Districts:
CO District 03

Bird Conservation Regions:
Southern Rockies/Colorado Plateau

USFWS Regions:
Mountain Prairie Region

Public Access

Site Name Publicly Accessible
Bedrock BioBlitz No

Full Project Description

Wildlife habitat restoration projects are often initiated with the objective of increasing habitat suitability
for a single species or suite of species. Often, it is assumed that habitat restoration for a focal species
will concomitantly benefit the habitat for other wildlife species as well. Biological assessments that have
a broad scope of inquiry are required in order to determine the full effect a restoration project has on
wildlife. However, this critical phase of restoration is often omitted; mainly due to the time and expense
required to implement a comprehensive baseline inventory and monitoring program. As I worked with
the landowner, it became evident that she was very interested and passionate about environmental
education and scientific research. It was this revelation that inspired me to begin a conversation with
her about monitoring her property before we consider management options.
As a novel approach to address this restoration requisite, I suggested we emulate the BioBlitz strategy to
establish a baseline inventory of the property. By using the BioBlitz approach, I hoped to gather multiple
experts from a variety of ecological disciplines to inventory as many members of the natural community
as possible. Ultimately, this baseline inventory will help us to select management objectives and provide
a yardstick to compare future changes by. We plan to continue using the BioBlitz approach to
collaboratively monitor the environment through time and to guide subsequent management choices. In
this way, we hope it will serve as an example of adaptive management for restoration projects.

Goals and Targets

Primary motivations:

Conservation Mission
Personal Interest
Public Benefit

Primary goals:

The goal of the Bedrock Bio-Blitz is to leverage the expertise of multiple environmental specialists to document the composition of a riparian habitat before and after a restoration project. At the same time it will integrating environmental and natural history education opportunities for rural and underserved communities in a portion of southwestern Colorado. Outputs from the Bedrock Bio-Blitz will include: 1) comprehensive baseline biological inventory of riparian wildlife along the Dolores River; 2) estimates of biological diversity and relative species abundance; 3) documentation of short and long term biological dynamics in response to habitat restoration; 4) documentation of soil condition before and after restoration project; 5) multiple opportunities for “field schools”, where communities can participate in data collection and learn about their local environment.
Progress:

Continuing

Consistent with plans:

State Wildlife Action Plan
Conservation Plan

Targeted habitats:

    • Wetlands and Riparian Habitats
      • Forested or Shrub Wetlands and Swamps
      • Lowland Riparian Forests and Shrublands
        • Introduced Riparian and Wetland Vegetation

Targeted species were not provided for this project.

Actions

Project Actions
Other: bird surveys, mammal traps, acoustic recorders, trail cameras, track plates, pitfall traps Show/Hide details

Outcomes

Is the success of this project's actions being monitored?   No/Unknown

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Organization

Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory
(Non-Governmental Organization)

Primary Contact

martin moses  (private lands wildlife biologist)
nrcs/rmbo/cpw
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Project Photos

Photos were not provided.

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