Wetland Threats and Conservation. Controversial Issue. The issue of how much wetland acreage has been lost in the United States has led to heated debates about limiting alteration of natural resources.
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1) Describe amount of wetland loss in U.S.
2) Describe human actions that threaten wetlands.
3) Identify causes of wetland alteration.
4) Discuss opportunities for conservation
A) Biological Alterations
B) Chemical Alterations
C) Physical Destruction or
1. Removal of wetland or riparian vegetation
2. Introduction of non-native/exotic species
Removal of riparian
vegetation next to
stream due to residential development.
Farming up to edge of stream.
Livestock corral adjacent to stream
and non-native plants,
i.e. purple loosestrife
need to be controlled
or prevented by proper land management, i.e. minimize disturbance.
1. Release of pollutants & toxic
2. Change in nutrient levels
Agricultural runoff carries pesticides, fertilizers
Livestock corral on streams allows manure
(nutrients) to enter stream unfiltered by vegetation.
Sediment plume discharging into river and then entering lake.
3. Dredging & Stream Channelization
4. Peat Mining
5. Flooding & Changes in Sediment Deposition Patterns due to Dam Construction.
6. ATV/Recreational Uses
Stream channelization = straightening of rivers
& streams for railroad and highways.
Flooding (and flood damage) is much greater
when streams are straightened and riparian
vegetation has been removed.
ORVs: What about the bank of the stream?
WETLANDS DAMAGE FORCES ATV BAN
ATVs have been banned from many areas of the National Forest, but not others.
The Valhalla Sunbowl near Washburn, WI has been permanently closed to ATVs after a small wetland once home to frogs, deer and rabbits was turned into gray muck and pools filled with stagnant water by ATV riders. It is estimated to take 10-15 years to repair…..
A. Public Education
Educational materials for landowners and public…
Workshops for ranchers, farmers
Forest Stewardship Programs educate forest landowners & loggers.
Wetlands Ecology Course @ university level
Learning about ducks and wetlands at the BG Army Depot
State and Federal Agencies
Society of Wetland Scientists (sws.org)
Soil & Water Conservation Society
The Wildlife Society (wildlife.org)
Advocacy & Stewardship Organizations:
The Nature Conservancy
loss & degradation