The Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition follows a cross jurisdictional monitoring plan that measures both long-term watershed health and recreation impacts in the Verde Valley. Our strategies for successful monitoring include the following:
Integrated Cross Resource Methodology for Data Collection
- Collect bird, vegetation, and recreation data at the same time to maximize efficiency
- Link efforts with existing and newly developed monitoring sites
- Create a shared clearing house for monitoring that details who is collecting what/where and existing protocol
- Utilizing local resource specialists and citizen scientists
Adaptive Restoration Needs & Efforts
- Collaborative research results drive flexible and reactive restoration goals
- Determine which sites and types of data are crucial and who would monitor them
Our monitoring and research objectives include:
Maintain free flowing, clean water in the Verde River and its tributaries
Water monitoring variables include quantity/flow, quality (turbidity, dissolved oxygen, E. Coli, electrical conductivity, air & water temperature, pH, river observations (environmental, obstruction of channels), sediment, total dissolved and suspended solids, trash in water, and stream (proper functioning condition assessment or multiple indicator monitoring).
Maintain a diverse, resilient riparian vegetation community
Vegetation monitoring variables include species composition, structure (height, canopy size), presence and distribution of rare, native, & non-native vegetation, and evidence of herbivory, bank erosion, & soil substrates (cobble, sand bedrock)
Foster responsible, respectable, and sustainable recreation
Recreation monitoring variables include evidence of visitor use (pounds of trash, campfire rings, cutting live stems, wood collection, bare ground, social trails, toilet paper, feces, diapers), educational programming attendance, and impacts to cultural resources.
Maintain diverse, connected, and healthy populations of wildlife and fish
Collect data on threatened and endangered species, as well as broader species information (e.g. macro biotic aquatic assessments, fish species diversity and distribution, otter and beaver presence and use).
Incorporate operation with new species listings