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Open-File Report 2011–1290

Conservation Effects Assessment Project—Wetlands Assessment in California’s Central Valley and Upper Klamath River Basin

Edited by Walter G. Duffy, U.S. Geological Survey; Sharon N. Kahara, Humboldt State University; and Rosemary M. Records, U.S. Geological Survey

Executive Summary—Ecosystem Services Derived from Wetlands Reserve Program Conservation Practices in California’s Central Valley and Oregon’s Upper Klamath River Basin

The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is one of several programs implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Since the WRP’s inception in 1990, it has resulted in the restoration of approximately 29,000 hectares in California’s Central Valley (CCV) and roughly 12,300 hectares in Oregon’s Upper Klamath River Basin (UKRB). Both the CCV and UKRB are agricultural dominated landscapes that have experienced extensive wetland losses and hydrological alteration. Restored habitats in the CCV and UKRB are thought to provide a variety of ecosystem services, but little is known about the actual benefits afforded.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) California Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Unit in collaboration with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service surveyed 70 WRP sites and 12 National Wildlife Refuge sites in the CCV, and 11 sites in the UKRB to estimate ecosystem services provided. In the CCV, sites were selected along three primary gradients; (1) restoration age, (2) management intensity, and (3) latitude (climate). Sites in the UKRB were assessed along restoration age and management intensity gradients where possible. The management intensity gradient included information about the type and frequency of conservation practices applied at each site, which was then ranked into three categories that differentiated sites primarily along a hydrological gradient. Information collected was used to estimate the following ecosystem services: Soil and vegetation nutrient content, soil loss reduction, floodwater storage as well as avian, amphibian, fish, and pollinator use and habitat availability.

Prior to this study, very little was known about WRP habitat morphology in the CCV and UKRB. Therefore in this study, we described these habitats and related them to ecosystem services provided. Our results indicate that although WRP in the CCV and UKRB provide a number of benefits, there may be management mediated trade-offs among ecosystem services. In this report, we considered ecosystem services at the site-specific scale; however, future work will extend to include effects of WRP relative to surrounding cropland.

First posted November 1, 2011

For additional information contact:

California Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
U.S. Geological Survey
Humboldt State University
1 Harpst Street
Arcata, CA 95521
http://www.coopunits.org/California/ 

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Suggested citation:

Duffy, W.G., Kahara, S.N., and Records, R.M., eds., 2011, Conservation Effects Assessment Project—Wetlands assessment in California’s Central Valley and Upper Klamath River Basin: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1290, 128 p.



Contents

Acknowledgments

Executive Summary—Ecosystem Services Derived from Wetlands Reserve Program Conservation Practices in California’s Central Valley and Oregon’s Upper Klamath River Basin

Principal Findings

Introduction

Chapter A: Habitat Assessment of Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) in the California’s Central Valley (CCV). By Sharon N. Kahara, Rosemary M. Records, and Walter G. Duffy

Chapter B: Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) Vegetation Biomass and Nutrient Content in the California’s Central Valley (CCV). By Sharon N. Kahara and Shannon J. Chapin

Chapter C: Wetlands Reserve Porgram (WRP) Soil Development in the California’s Central Valley (CCV). By Judith Z. Drexler, Sharon N. Kahara, and Rosemary M. Records

Chapter D: Soil Loss Reduction by Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) in California’s Central Valley (CCV). By Sharon N. Kahara and Rosemary M. Records

Chapter E: Floodwater Storage Capacity of Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) in the California’s Central Valley (CCV). By Sharon N. Kahara, Rosemary M. Records, and Shannon J.Chapin

Chapter F: Bird Use of Wetland Reserve Program (WRP) in the California’s Central Valley (CCV). By Sharon N. Kahara and Ryan DiGaudio

Chapter G: Amphibians in the California’s Central Valley (CCV). By Luke Groff and Shannon J. Chapin

Chapter H: Pollinators in Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) Habitats in the California’s Central Valley (CCV). By Kim McFarland and Sharon N. Kahara

Chapter I: Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) Habitat Assessment in the Upper Klamath River Basin (UKRB). By Walter G. Duffy

Chapter J: Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) Soil Properties in the Upper Klamath River Basin (UKRB). By Rosemary M. Records and Walter G. Duffy

Chapter K: Sediment and Nutrient Yields in the Upper Klamath River Basin (UKRB). By Rosemary M. Records, Sharon N. Kahara, and Walter G. Duffy

Chapter L: Amphibian Use of Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) in the Upper Klamath River Basin. By Walter G. Duffy and Luke Groff

Chapter M: Bird use of Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) in the Upper Klamath River Basin (UKRB). By Walter G. Duffy

Chapter N: Fish Use of Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) in the Upper Klamath River Basin (UKRB). By Walter G. Duffy and Stephen Zipper

References Cited

Appendix I: Study Sites

Appendix II: Soils in the California’s Central Valley (CCV)

Appendix III: Bird use in the California’s Central Valley (CCV)

Appendix IV: Reduction of Soil Loss in the California’s Central Valley (CCV)

Appendix V: Adjacent Land Use


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