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APPENDIX B:

Revised PFCA Checklist

 

This appendix is a revised PFCA checklist that makes efficient use of the team’s field time to provide a qualitative, accountable, and repeatable rating of stream and riparian ecosystem health, in comparison to acceptable conditions at reference sites (i.e., natural, unaltered conditions at relict sites). Factors are rated on a range of scores from 1 (low quality/poor condition) representing geomorphically inconsistent (GI) conditions, to 5 (high quality/excellent condition) representing geomorphically consistent (GC – see Appendix C for more instructions on how this term applies to the assessment) and unimpaired conditions. In the Question column: "X" involves use of the in-office worksheet (Appendix A), as well as field site visit data; “F” indicates an observation based on a field site visit. The mean score within an impact category is the arithmetic mean of the individual question scores. Some questions may be non-applicable (“n/a” or “unkown”) and therefore are not included in the mean score calculation. The overall PFCA rating is the average of the impact category mean scores.

 

 

SCORE

Impact Category

Question

 

WQ

Water Quality

 

Qualifier

If the study reach is considered to be GC perennial, whether or not flow has been altered, continue. If not and flow has not been affected, this section gets an "n/a" - go to Hydro/Geomorphology. If not because flow has been eliminated, this section receives a mean score of 1.

 

1 (X)

Is algal growth GC?

 

2 (F)

At base flow, is the level of turbidity GC?

 

3 (F)

Is the extent of channel shading GC?

 

Mean Score

 

 

Comments

 

 

 

 

 

H/G

Hydrology/Geomorphololgy

 

Qualifier:

If the study reach is not considered as GC perennial because flow has been eliminated, this section receives a mean score of 1

 

1 (X,F)

Is sinuosity GC?

 

2 (X)

How closely does the hydrograph resemble the GC natural hydrograph (timing, duration, frequency, magnitude, ramping rate)?

 

3 (X,F)

Is the floodplain inundated in relatively frequent, GC events?

 

4 (F)

Is the cover of fine sediment deposition on the streambed GC?

 

5a (F)

Is the channel bank GC vertically stable?

 

5b (X,F)

Is the channel GC laterally stable?

 

6 (F)

Is the diversity of hydraulic habitats (e.g. oxbows, side channels, sand bars, gravel/cobble bars, terraces, cutbanks, islands) GC?

 

7 (F)

Is the integrity of surface soils GC?

 

8 (F)

Is the density and condition of beaver dams GC?

 

Mean Score

 

 

Comments

 

 

 

 

 

F/AH

Fish/Aquatic Habitat

 

Qualifier:

If the stream is no longer perennial, but historically was a fishery, this section receives a mean score of 1.

 

1 (F)

Is pool distribution sufficient to provide native fish habitat?

 

2a (F)

Does underbank cover provide GC aquatic habitat diversity?

 

2b (F)

Does overbank cover provide GC habitat for aquatic species?

 

2c (F)

Is the extent of channel shading GC?

 

3 (F)

Does the level of GC channel floor embeddedness allow for suitable spawning conditions?

 

4 (F)

Does GC large woody debris contribute to aquatic organism habitat?

 

5 (X)

Is the number and diversity of GC aquatic invertebrates consistent with stream type and geomorphic setting?

 

6 (F)

Does GC riparian vegetation provide for/enable terrestrial insects to drop into the stream?

 

7a (X)

Are native fish and other aquatic faunal population dynamics GC and consistent with the management objectives?

 

7b (X)

Are non-native fish and other aquatic faunal population dynamics GC and consistent with the management objectives?

 

8 (X&F)

Is the habitat in the study reach GC for aquatic species of special concern (e.g., sensitive, T&E, etc.)?

 

Mean Score

 

 

Comments

 

 

 

 

 

RV

Riparian Vegetation

 

1a (F)

Is native grass and forb relative abundance in the lower riparian zone (LRZ) GC?

 

1b (F)

Is native shrub relative abundance in the LRZ GC?

 

1c (F)

Is native middle canopy relative abundance in the LRZ GC?

 

1d (F)

Is native upper canopy relative abundance in the LRZ GC

 

1e (F)

Is native grass/forb relative abundance in the upper riparian zone (URZ) GC?

 

1f (F)

Is native shrub relative abundance in the URZ GC?

 

1g (F)

Is native middle canopy relative abundance in the URZ GC?

 

1h (F)

Is native upper canopy relative abundance in the URZ GC?

 

Mean LRZ

 

 

Mean URZ

 

 

2a (F)

Does the % GC cover of LRZ vegetation by structural layer (shrub, canopy, etc.) offer suitable overall structure to maximize energy dissipation and wildlife habitat?

 

2b (F)

Does the % GC cover of LRZ vegetation by structural layer (shrub, canopy, etc.) offer suitable overall structure to maximize energy dissipation and wildlife habitat?

 

3 (F)

Is the dominant shrub/woody tree species demography GC?

 

4a (F)

What is the relative extent of non-native plant species cover in the LRZ?

 

4b (F)

What is the relative extent of non-native plant species cover in the URZ?

 

5 (F)

Is the cover of vegetation contributing to GC large woody debris?

 

6a (F)

a. Is there evidence of GI mammalian herbivory impacts on ground cover?

 

6b (F)

b. Is there evidence of GI mammalian herbivory impacts on browse cover?

 

7 (F)

Does the LRZ woody and wetland vegetation indicate GC soil moisture?

 

8a (F)

a. Is LRZ vegetation growth vigorous?

 

8b (F)

b. is URZ vegetation growth vigorous?

 

Mean Score

 

 

Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      WH

Wildlife Habitat

 

1 (X&F)

Is the habitat in the study reach GC for terrestrial species of special concern (e.g., sensitive, T&E, etc.)?

 

2 (F)

Are dense patches of shrubs GC and do they maximize wildlife habitat availability?

 

3 (F)

Are patches of middle canopy trees GC and do they maximize wildlife habitat?

 

4 (F)

Is the connectedness of upper canopy patches GC (i.e., are there well-connected canopies in alluvial reaches)?

 

5 (F)

Is the diversity and distribution of fluvial habitat types (i.e., pools, wet meadows, marshes, riparian vegetation stands) GC?

 

Mean Score

 

 

Comments

 

 

 

 

 

HI

Human Impacts/activities

 

1 (X)

To what extent is streamflow natural and GC (a dewatered stream receives a score of 1)?

 

2 (X)

To what extent is the state of the watershed’s uplands GC?

 

3 (X)

Is livestock grazing within the grazing prescription appropriate to that outlined in the AMP?

 

4 (F)

Is the area free of development and other human impacts (i.e, parking lots, campsites, mines)?

 

5 (F)

Does channel geomorphology resemble the unaltered condition (i.e, impacts of channelization,

 

 

   check dams, irrigation canals, etc)?

 

6a (F)

To what extent is the area free of road impacts?

 

6b (F)

How far from the channel are road impacts?

 

Mean Score

 

 

Comments

 

 

 

 

 

Mean of Mean Scores

FINAL PFCA RATING (average of scores for each of the 5 sections, not including human impacts section):

 

 

 

 

TREND

TREND: Upward, static or downward (answerable after one or more repeated visits)

 

1 (FX)

Does the trend in water quality change indicate improvement through time?

 

2 (FX)

Does the trend in geomorphic change indicate improvement through time?

 

3 (FX)

Does the trend in fish/aquatic habitat change indicate improvement through time?

 

4 (FX)

Does the trend in vegetation change indicate improvement for wildlife through time?

 

5 (FX)

Does the trend in widllife habitat and indicators indicate improvement through time?

 

Mean

 

 

Comments

 

 

 

 

 

BLM

ISSUES

Are factors contributing to unacceptable conditions within the purview of BLM management?

 

Comments

If so, what are those factors?