Seattle Public Utilities Mami Hara, General Manager/CEO

Managing the Watershed

Habitat Research & Monitoring - Upland Forest

watershed2Mountains

Forest habitats in the upper watershed are being monitored through a system of permanent sample plots.

The watershed upland forest habitat research and monitoring program is designed to assess the effects of HCP habitat protection and restoration on key upland habitats. We are implementing a coordinated system of research and monitoring projects that will allow us to evaluate our progress, as well as augment the scientific knowledge base. Our data collection ranges from individual projects to a comprehensive system of permanent sample plots throughout the entire watershed.

Data are integrated at a landscape scale and incorporated into an adaptive management approach. This approach means we use monitoring results to evaluate the effectiveness of our restoration techniques through time. We will then modify our techniques and procedures if data indicate that current methods are not accelerating the development of habitat structure and complexity as expected.

Because funding for research and monitoring is limited, we focus our efforts on:

  • risks of undesirable outcomes from a restoration technique or the risk to a species of deciding to do no restoration
  • uncertainties in ecological processes or the outcome of a restoration technique
  • threats to species or plant communities (such as non-native invasive species)

Components of the terrestrial research and monitoring program include: