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Concurrent Sessions C: Prioritization - Prioritizing Fish Passage Barrier Remediation: Ecological Versus Infrastructure Values

Abstract
The ecological disruption to aquatic and riparian dependent species caused by stream crossings has received considerable attention and public funding. Much of this attention and funding has been directed towards opportunistic and site-specific remediation. Often, these efforts have not taken into consideration the prioritization of sites based on ecological and infrastructure values. Here, we describe and present results from two prioritization schemes for 245 fish passage barriers at converted stream crossings on the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests in Colorado. The first is based on ecological values such as habitat quantity and quality, barrier severity, adjacent stream fragmentation, and watershed health. The second scheme is a combined ecological-infrastructure based approach that is based not only on ecological values, but also infrastructure values, such as road level, road value, and culvert failure risk. Results from the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests barrier assessment revealed that most culverts were nearly complete barriers, occurred predominantly in headwater streams, and fragmented 614 of approximately 2400 miles of stream on the National Forest Unit. We found that passage barriers remedied using the un-prioritized approach addressed some ecological values and several infrastructure values; however, sites were well out of order with ecological values and were more closely aligned with infrastructure values. We recommend that selection of fish passage barrier sites to remedy should balance the management of biological resources and transportation networks.
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2013-06-26
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