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Center for Spatial Information and Research

A Template for the Preservation, Restoration, and Monitoring of Critical Habitat within the Wapato Floodplain of the Yakima River Basin, Washington

Future land acquisitions by the Yakama Indian Nation (YIN) within the Wapato floodplain require the development and implementation of a scientifically based restoration plan which underscores and expedites the river's ability to rework and restore the structural complexity within this critical floodplain. Consequently, augmented structural complexity should reflect a concomitant increase in the ability of aquatic and terrestrial organisms to complete their various life-stages, which promotes higher levels of biocomplexity, bioproduction, and ecosystem integrity. As such, the river becomes the principal restorative tool employed throughout this process. However, this strategy necessitates substantial modifications to existing cultural features. Examples include, but may not be limited to, dike removal and setback, reconfiguring specific road segments and highway bridges, and grade control structures. These modifications must occur if normative river processes are to approximate historic conditions across the longitudinal, lateral, and vertical scales of this floodplain.

Objectives:

(1) To develop a preservation/restoration plan for the Wapato floodplain that achieves the following:

  • Identify the desired ecological conditions that are the point of acquisition
  • Establish an array of strategies capable of achieving these conditions
  • Establish an ecological monitoring protocol to ensure time series base-line structural and functional conditions for the Wapato floodplain for evaluating restoration strategies

(2) Use the objectives listed above to adaptively manage and scientifically assess the long-term effects of reestablishing connectivity within the Wapato floodplain.

Funding Sources:

Yakima Indian Nation Research Contract. Amount: $87,000
Dates of Project: 6/03-3/06
Graduate Students Funded: 2

Finished Reports:

Snyder, E.B., and A.O. Gabriel. 2005. Restoration of the Wapato Floodplain: A Template for the Preservation, Restoration, and Monitoring of Critical Habitat within the Wapato Floodplain of the Yakima River Basin, Washington. Annual Report. Ellensburg: Central Washington University. 34 pp.

Snyder, E.B., A.O. Gabriel, and D. Eitimiller. 2004. Restoration of the Wapato Floodplain: A Template for the Preservation, Restoration, and Monitoring of Critical Habitat within the Wapato Floodplain of the Yakima River Basin, Washington. Annual Report. Ellensburg: Central Washington University. 64 pp.

Related Publications:

Gabriel, A. 2006. Ecological comparison of disconnected and connected side channels, Wapato Reach, Yakima River, Washington. Presented at the Yakima Basin Aquatic Science and Management Conference, , Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA, June 14-15, 2006.