Riparian & Wet Meadow Degradation

Loss and degradation of riparian areas and wet meadows reduces overall rangeland resilience to drought, fire, and flooding. WLFW’s Framework seeks to protect intact but vulnerable riparian areas and wet meadows through targeted easements and restoration.

Strategic Approach

WLFW’s approach for tackling this threat prioritizes protection and early intervention to maintain and enhance vulnerable wet habitats over intensive restoration of highly degraded areas such as streams and meadows that are deeply incised and lack floodplain connectivity. For more information on how to apply this strategy, view this technical video:


Spatial Data

The maps below enable practitioners to rapidly visualize and analyze opportunities for threat reduction. Local maps and data should also be incorporated, where available, to refine conservation delivery.

  1. Mesic Resources Layer. This map depicts the estimated extent and availability of mesic resources through time across the entire range of sage grouse. Mesic resources are defined here as sites with higher vegetative productivity during the late growing season (July 15 to September 30) relative to surrounding areas, including temporary wetlands, wet meadows, riparian areas, high-elevation sagebrush uplands, and irrigated fields. It can be used to assess the distribution and abundance of mesic resources in a given area and quantify valley bottom vegetation productivity and resilience to drought. More details on this product available here.
    Map of mesic resources layer.

  2. RAP Vegetation Cover. These maps provide annual percent cover estimates from 1984 to present of: annual forbs and grasses, perennial forbs and grasses, shrubs, trees, and bare ground. The data can be used to assess biotic conditions to inform management actions and monitor vegetation through time. Annual forb and grass maps provide a useful surrogate for exotic annuals, allowing managers to understand fluctuations through time and track management outcomes. Perennial forb and grass maps can help managers determine if restoration seeding is needed following disturbance or annual grass control. More details on this product available here. Map of annual
cover.

  3. RAP Biomass. These maps provide annual and 16-day aboveground biomass from 1986 to present of: annual forbs and grasses, perennial forbs and grasses, and herbaceous (combination of annual and perennial forbs and grasses). Estimates represent accumulated new biomass throughout the year or 16-day period and do not include biomass accumulation in previous years. The data can be used to assess fine fuels affecting fire cycles and forage availability. Annual forb and grass maps provide a useful surrogate for exotic annuals, allowing managers to understand fluctuations through time and track management outcomes. More details on this product available here. Map of
annual biomass.