❮ Projects page Sierra Streams Institute

Spatial Analysis Project:

Sierra Streams Institute (SSI) is a non-profit based in Nevada City, California. Currently, SSI is working in the Bear River Watershed completing a Disturbance Inventory and drafting a Restoration Plan. In the Restoration plan document, we outline the primary issues of concern in the Bear River Watershed and define potential restoration projects.

The work proposed for the Summer of Maps fellow will support identifying, prioritizing and developing potential restoration projects within the Bear River Watershed. These projects will address the watershed’s many pressing demands, which include coordination of land management, cleanup of legacy mining contamination, improvements to water quality, restoration of ecologically important habitat, and addressing climate change and wildfire pressures. While completing the Disturbance Inventory, numerous datasets were collected and several informational maps were developed. The Summer of Maps fellow would be responsible for conducting suitability analyses and developing models to inform and develop restoration projects.

Data available:

Currently, data on watershed and subwatersheds boundaries, basic hydrology, groundwater basins and subbasins, groundwater quality monitoring, groundwater elevation monitoring, California Statewide Groundwater Elevation Monitoring (CASGEM) groundwater basin priorities, wetland locations, active, inactive, underground and surface mines, surface water quality monitoring, 303(d) listed areas, elevation and topography, slope steepness, vegetation communities, soil classification, special-status flora and fauna species, threatened and endangered flora and fauna species, permitted toxic release and cleanup sites, disadvantaged and severely disadvantaged community boundaries, human population density, land ownership, land use and crops, major roads, county planning designations, county parcel boundaries is available for the Summer of Maps fellow. Additionally, overlay maps combining specific datasets above were developed to provide initial prioritization of restoration sites. Information from literature reviews will be provided on species of concern and habitat types to support suitability analyses.

Maps and Reports that will be created:

The fellow will be responsible for producing maps and ModelBuilder accompanied with a brief written summary to address the following tasks:

  1. Identify endangered plant, animal, and habitat (i.e. giant garter snakes, tricolored blackbirds, black rails, western pond turtles, coast horned lizards, Scadden Flat checkerbloom, Pine Hill flannelbush, Stebbins’ morning glory, vernal pools) locations needing protection within the Bear River Watershed by conducting suitability analyses with species distribution and habitat data, along with literature review information.
  2. Create a prioritization model that utilizes user defined inputs (slope, land use, ect.) to rank potential projects and project areas that fit the user’s needs based on the project’s feasibility and necessity.

We are excited to have discussions with Azavea and the project fellow about how we might further utilize models produced through the project.

How the maps and reports will be used:

The final product will be a series of maps and models that will help guide stakeholders in developing restoration projects, identifying project areas, and prioritize projects. This deliverable will synthesize and translate the information discussed in the disturbance inventory to help develop a comprehensive restoration plan with ready to implement project plans, prioritized list of projects and possible project collaborators. Spatial analysis will help address emergent challenges including examining the ecological diversity represented within the watershed as a whole, the larger scale and scope of projects resulting from this sub-watershed diversity as well as consequences and/or future mitigation of a controversial proposal to build a major dam on the Bear River. Additionally, maps and models developed will support grant applications by providing data to identify the importance and anticipated effect of the proposed restoration work. Overall, this will guide future restoration work forward in the most logical and strategic manner.

Shortlist year 2018
Category Environment & Ecosystems

Until next time

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