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Colorado watershed planning toolbox: bridging the gap between ecological data, applied restoration and water resource management




Marshall, Sarah, author
Lemly, Joanna, author
Smith, Gabrielle, author
Colorado Natural Heritage Program, publisher

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Wetlands are an essential component of Colorado's landscape that greatly benefit the people of Colorado by performing a number of vital functions, including water quality improvement, flood attenuation, and wildlife habitat. Colorado's watersheds are the headwaters of several major interstate river systems and management decisions made here have disproportionately large effects on downstream states. At the same time, Colorado is one of the fastest-growing states in the U.S., placing increasing demands on limited groundwater and surface water resources and stressing aquatic ecosystems. As resource managers, planners, and restoration practitioners attempt to mitigate for impacts to aquatic ecosystems, there is a growing need for conservation planning tools that help bridge the gap between ecological data collection and applied restoration and water resource management. The Colorado Natural Heritage Program has worked to meet this need by developing the Watershed Planning Toolbox—an online mapping interface intended to help users visualize wetland and stream distribution, landscape-scale ecological functions, hydrologic modification, stressors, and prioritization for conservation and restoration at the HUC8 subbasin scale.


Prepared for: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 8.
November 2018.
Includes bibliographical references.

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water conservation
aquatic ecology
wetlands management
watershed management


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