Our first report of 2010 is now complete and on our reports page. We first posted about this project back in October, when the field crew was finishing up. Now the final report, Identification and Assessment of Important Wetlands within the North Platte River Watershed 2009-2010, is available.
CNHP surveyed 13 private properties that constituted 45% of the private lands within the watershed. The site visits resulted in 68 new element occurrences; these data combined with existing data resulted in the formation of 32 Potential Conservation Areas. In addition to the fieldwork conducted in 2009, this project benefited from collaboration with the North Platte Basinwide Wetland Profile and Condition Assessment project also being conducted by CNHP which is a part of the Statewide Wetlands Strategy to quantitatively assess wetland condition for Colorado’ s wetlands.
Riparian shrublands are the dominate wetland type in the North Platte River Watershed; more important is the fact that these wetland complexes are presently intact and contiguous, providing migration corridors and habitat for animals (including aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates), as well as contributing to the health of aquatic systems by purifying water, filtering runoff, abating floods and decreasing erosion. These riparian wetlands are highly functioning due to the absence of any major hydrological modifications and consequently, the presence of intact floodplains.