Landscape Change in the Napa River Watershed, 1800–2002: Implications for the Restoration of In-St...
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Landscape Change in the Napa River Watershed, 1800–2002: Implications for the Restoration of In-Stream, Floodplain, and Valley Floor Habitat Grossinger, R., Striplen, C., Brewster, E., San Francisco Estuary Institute and L. Collins , Watershed Sciences CALFED Science Conference January 16, 2003.

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Project Goals

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Landscape Change in the Napa River Watershed, 1800–2002: Implications for the Restoration of In-Stream, Floodplain, and Valley Floor HabitatGrossinger, R., Striplen, C., Brewster, E., San Francisco Estuary Instituteand L. Collins, Watershed SciencesCALFED Science ConferenceJanuary 16, 2003


Project Goals

  • a map of the pre-European impact fluvial system

    • extent of floodplain

    • location of distributary systems, side channels, riparian habitat

       flood control, stream restoration, fisheries recovery

  • a map of the pre-European impact distribution and abundance of valley floor habitats

    • oak savanna

    • seasonal wetland/vernal pools

    • native grassland

       conservation planning (identifying remnants, proportional representation, designing corridors and mosaics)

  • land use history

    • spatial extent and duration of grazing, logging, ditching, etc.

       identify early uses which may have ongoing effects

  • community-participatory process

    acquire needed data

    greater shared understanding of how the current landscape has evolved and its potential for restoration


Presentation Outline

1. Approach

  • Partnerships

  • Issues of scale

    2. Methods

  • 19th-century Historical Documents

  • Early Aerial Photography

  • Mapping of Present-day Ecological Remnants

    3. Preliminary Findings — methodological and technical

  • Pleasures and Pitfalls of Historical Sources

  • Discovery of Counter-Intuitive Changes

  • Substantial Variation in Historical Landscape within a Small Area ( variation in present-day geomorphic controls)


Napa River Watershed Historical Ecology Project endorsedand/or funded by:

  • Napa Valley Vintners Association

  • Land Trust of Napa County

  • Mead Foundation

  • Mennen Environmental Foundation

  • Napa County Planning Department

  • Napa County Resource Conservation District

  • SF Bay Region Water Quality Control Board

  • California Department of Fish and Game

  • Army Corps of Engineers

  • CALFED Watershed Program


Napa River Watershed Historical Ecology Project Collaborators

Shari Gardner and Chris Malan, Friends of Napa River – local project coordinatorsElise Brewster, Brewster Design Arts – archival research, historical cartography Mike Champion, Napa RCD – archival researchSarah Pearce, SFEI – fluvial geomorphologyLaurel Collins, Watershed Sciences – fluvial geomorphologyChuck Striplen, SFEI and UCB – pre-European land managementJosh Collins, SFEI –wetlands geomorphologyLester McKee, SFEI –watershed processesJake Ruygt, Napa County Botanist – local plant community ecologyRobin Grossinger, SFEI – historical ecology/landscape historyThomas Burns, GIS Mapping and Analysis – historical photogrammetryEric Wittner, SFEI – GIS development


1. Approach

  • Partnerships

  • Issues of scale

    2. Methods

  • 19th-century Historical Documents

  • Early Aerial Photography

  • Mapping of Present-day Ecological Remnants

    3. Preliminary Findings — methodological and technical

  • Pleasures and Pitfalls of Historical Sources

  • Discovery of Counter-Intuitive Changes

  • Substantial Variation in Historical Landscape within a Small Area ( variation in present-day geomorphic controls)


Project Scale and Corresponding Topics


Napa River Watershed

Sulphur

Soda

Soda

Carneros

San Francisco Bay


1. Approach

  • Partnerships

  • Issues of scale

    2. Methods

  • 19th-century Historical Documents

  • Early Aerial Photography

  • Mapping of Present-day Ecological Remnants

    3. Preliminary Findings — methodological and technical

  • Pleasures and Pitfalls of Historical Sources

  • Discovery of Counter-Intuitive Changes

  • Substantial Variation in Historical Landscape within a Small Area ( variation in present-day geomorphic controls)


1. Approach

  • Partnerships

  • Issues of scale

    2. Methods

  • 19th-century Historical Documents

  • Early Aerial Photography

  • Mapping of Present-day Ecological Remnants

    3. Preliminary Findings — methodological and technical

  • Pleasures and Pitfalls of Historical Sources

    • Importance of Pre-1940s Data

    • Potentials for Misinterpretation

  • Substantial Variation in Historical Landscape within a Small Area ( variation in present-day geomorphic controls)

  • Discovery of Counter-Intuitive Changes


USCS 1860

USCS 1861


Lower Sulphur Creek

ca. 1940 Aerial photomosaic

1993 Aerial photomosaic


Products from Napa River Watershed Landscape Change Studies

  • Historical Ecology Component of Napa Watershed Exhibit at the Napa Valley Museum -- opens January 25

  • Napa River Sediment TMDL Baseline Study: Geomorphic Processes and Habitat Form and Function in Soda Creek -- ~ 1 month

  • Stewardship Support and Watershed Assessment in the Napa River Watershed: A CALFED Project (Sulphur and Carneros Creeks) -- ~ 6 months

  • Napa Valley at the Time of European Contact GIS and Report -- ~ 1 year (pending funding)

www.sfei.org


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