Presenters: Nathan Seward, Terrestrial Biologist, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Gunnison, CO and Liz With, District Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Services, Gunnison, CO
Description: This webinar will showcase the Upper Gunnison Basin Riparian Restoration & Resilience Project, which is a landscape-level effort led by the collaborative Gunnison Climate Working Group. Participants will learn the restoration techniques employed, as well as the administrative model used to manage the complex partnership of 18 agencies and numerous landowners, with the goal of replicating this large-scale project across the 11 state range of sage grouse.
Background: Riparian and wet meadow habitat covers less than 2% of the western landscape, but are critical ecological components for many species including migratory songbirds and sage grouse. Recent landscape analysis by the Sage Grouse Initiative shows that 85% of sage grouse leks occur within 6 miles of wet meadows. However, 81% of wet meadow habitat in the West is on private land. Much of this habitat has been degraded through altered hydrology or unmanaged grazing. Over time, this degradation leads to erosion, resulting in lowered water tables, increased invasive species potential, decreased range productivity, and overall habitat conversion to a more xeric system.
Additional Resources: Instructional videos on various mesic restoration structures: