Decision tools for assessing watershed sensitivity and ecological resilience in the Great Basin

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Assessing the geomorphic sensitivity of streams and the ecological resilience of riparian ecosystems provides the basis for understanding how they have responded to disturbances and management actions and how they are expected to respond in the future.

A collaborative group of managers and scientists led by Jeanne Chambers, research ecologist and senior scientist (emeritus) with the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, and geomorphologist Jerry Miller, a professor of environmental science at Western Carolina University, developed a multiscale approach to help land managers rapidly assess watersheds and categorize them based on resilience and sensitivity to disturbance. The project was built on the long-term work of Chambers and her collaborators on Great Basin riparian ecosystems.

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