Current Water Quality Projects

Assessment of Riparian Forests to Reduce Sedimentation of Federal Reservoirs

The Kansas Forest Service and various partners are developing a riparian forest assessment methodology that uses GIS, remote sensing, and on-the-ground mensuration to categorize riparian forests into functioning condition classes. The assessment methodology will be piloted and refined within the Delaware River watershed, using a design and scale that will allow the technique to be readily transferrable to other regional watersheds plagued by sedimentation issues. The end product will be a GIS database that will assist stakeholders (i.e., Delaware River WRAPS) in strategically targeting riparian forestry practices and programs above Perry Lake to minimize impoundment sedimentation. In conjunction with the assessment, creation of riparian forestry demonstration areas, as well as basin-wide educational efforts, will aid to increase the acceptance and adoption of riparian forestry practices within targeted areas. In addition, riparian forest stand data collected during the on-the-ground mensuration will act to fill an immense knowledge gap regarding the extent, composition, and condition of riparian forests within the state of Kansas.

Timeline: 2010 – 2013

The riparian forest assessment methodology piloted and refined within the Delaware River watershed will be applied within the Tuttle Creek reservoir watershed (2011 – 2014), as well as the Spring River watershed (2011 – 2013).

 

WRAPSWRAPS

The KFS acts as a technical service provider to over 15 Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy groups throughout Kansas. KFS provides individual WRAPS with streamside forestry technical assistance, expertise, workshop organization, and assessment functions intent on helping each group achieve the water quality goals set out in their watershed plans. Proper management, establishment, and protection of streamside forests results in the reduction of sediment and associated pollutants, such as Phosphorus and E. Coli bacteria, in Kansas waterways.

Timeline: ongoing, continuous

 

 

 

Riparian Restoration Initiative

In cooperation with the Kansas Department of Agriculture – Division of Conservation (KDA-DOC), KFS is responsible for designing and overseeing the installation and 3-year maintenance of streamside forest buffers above (top bank) rock-engineered bank stabilization structures along a number of larger Kansas Rivers. The forest buffers act to further reinforce the rock stabilization structures, as well as provide the vast array of environmental benefits associated with trees. To date, 12 buffers have been installed along the Delaware River in Atchison and Jackson Counties, and 2 along the Neosho River in Lyon County. Approximately 30 additional buffers are scheduled for installation along the Delaware, Cottonwood, and Smoky Hill Rivers between 2012 and 2014.

Timeline: ongoing, continuous

 

Wetland and Riparian Protection

KFS is a member of the Wetland and Riparian Protection Team (WARP), headed by the Kansas Water Office. KFS is currently involved in the Wetland Protection and Development 2011 project (WPDG-11) led by WARP. WPDG-11 entails assessing two similar Kansas watersheds to examine the impact that wetlands and streamside forests have in overall watershed health and water quality. The role of the KFS in WPDG-11 entails assessing streamside forests in each watershed and providing data to WARP regarding the location, extent, and condition of these resources.

Timeline: ongoing, continuous

 

Sediment Baseline Study

KFS is a member of the Sediment Baseline Work Group (SBWG), headed by the Kansas Water Office. The SBWG is currently investigating 3 NE Kansas watersheds in an attempt to determine what watershed characteristics (such as landcover, agricultural practices, and streamside forest condition) lead to the lowest amount of sediment pollution to waterways. For the SBWG study, KFS is partnering with K-State Research and Extension Forestry to assess and provide data on the condition of streamside forests within study watersheds. Streamside forest condition data will assist SBWG in determining the role that these areas play in terms of sediment reduction and water quality enhancement. Data will also allow KFS to promote specific streamside forestry practices to the areas where the largest benefit to water quality will result.

Timeline: Completion in 2012