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    Author(s): D. Max Smith; Katelyn P. DriscollSteven D. WarrenDeborah M. Finch
    Date: 2020
    Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-407. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 204 p.
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (41.0 MB)

    Description

    This assessment was conducted to provide information on the current conditions of riparian and groundwater-dependent ecosystems in relation to their natural range of variation on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. We summarized dominant riparian community types that are present on the Forest and described riparian fish and wildlife habitat. We used peer-reviewed literature, data from the Forest and other partners, and site visits to evaluate the status of five key ecosystem characteristics: (1) surface water and groundwater fluctuations, (2) water quality, (3) channel and floodplain dynamics, (4) composition and structure of riparian vegetation, and (5) composition of groundwater-dependent ecosystems. We determined that the primary stressors to riparian ecosystems on the Bridger-Teton National Forest were roads and related infrastructure, livestock grazing, long-term vegetation change, and climate change. Despite the presence of these stressors, nearly all key ecosystem characteristics were functioning within their natural range of variation on the Forest. Our results support the ecosystem assessment completed during the Forest plan revision process and can help inform decisionmaking related to restoration and/or maintenance of riparian and groundwater-dependent ecosystems on the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

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    Citation

    Smith, D. Max; Driscoll, Katelyn P.; Warren, Steven D.; Finch, Deborah M. 2020. Riparian and groundwater-dependent ecosystems of the Bridger-Teton National Forest: An assessment of resources and current conditions. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-407. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 204 p.

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    Keywords

    forest plan, key ecosystem characteristics, riparian vegetation, flow regime, channel morphology, floodplain, Wyoming, Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

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