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SUMMARY. Summary Instructions. After the checklist is filled out and rationale documented, the ID Team discusses the responses, reads the category definitions and makes a functionality determination – the rationale for the rating is completed at this time

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Summary instructions
Summary Instructions

  • After the checklist is filled out and rationale documented, the ID Team discusses the responses, reads the category definitions and makes a functionality determination – the rationale for the rating is completed at this time

  • Establish photo points where possible to document noteworthy attributes on the site – make photos demonstrate rationale!

Summary instructions1
Summary Instructions

  • Indicate apparent trend (one time observation) for Functional at Risk ratings. The intent here is that FAR down reaches will cause management to red flag as the highest priority.

  • Unless there are clear indicators of apparent trend – indicate not apparent

Standard checklist lotic
Standard Checklist (lotic)

Relative condition in functioning-at-risk



Making a summary determination functional rating
Making a Summary Determination(Functional Rating)

  • Are there any questions answered “no?”

  • If here are “no” answers, is the attribute or process important to function?

    • Usually a “no” answer results in a finding of functional at risk.

  • Are all or most questions answered “no”?

    • If all or most questions, particularly those that are critical to function, the finding is “nonfunctional.”

  • Is there an apparent upward trend?

    • By definitions, an upward apparent trend results in a finding of “functional-at-risk.”

Making a summary determination apparent trend
Making a Summary Determination(Apparent Trend)

  • Apparent Trend: A gross estimate of the direction of change in resource attributes based on a one-point in time observation of field indicators

Making a summary determination apparent trend1
Making a Summary Determination(Apparent Trend)

  • Are woody species regenerating?

  • Are herbaceous species reproducing?

  • Are plants vigorous?

  • Is the channel degrading?

  • Is the channel aggrading?

  • Are streambanks actively eroding?

Resource status and values
Resource Status and Values

Aquatic Habitat


Livestock Forage

Channel Stability

Pfc early seral
PFC early seral

PFC mid seral & closer to DFC

Pfc applications
PFC Applications

  • Useful to help prioritize of Planning, Monitoring, & Restoration Activities:

    • Triage: “ The determination of priorities for action in an emergency.”

    • Allows monitoring to be focused on addressing issues/”no” answers.

    • Makes efficient use of time and dollars.

    • Should focus restoration activities on “at-risk” reaches.

Pfc applications1
PFC Applications

  • Provides a common, consistent, easily understood communication tool regarding the basic condition of riparian-wetland areas

  • Avoids riparian resource management “Tower of Babel”

Riparian management process
Riparian Management Process

Step 1: Inventory/assess current & potential condition

Step 2: Define/stratify complexes

Step 3: Inventory/General Assessments (PFC)

Step 4: Select DMAs (Designated Monitoring Areas)

Step 5: Establish Site Spec. Desired Conditions, Objectives, & Indicators (MIM)

Step 6: Develop/adapt grazing strategy & implement

Step 7: Monitor annual indicators each year and condition indicators every 3-6 years (MIM)

Step 8: Adapt grazing strategy, annual indicators &/or criteria as needed to meet desired conditions


Stratify Reaches/Complexes/Sites(Experienced Professionals)

Professional Assessment

Non-Professional Assessment


Proper Functioning Condition (PFC) Assessment

Integrated Rip. Evaluation Guide Level II (R4 FS)

Skill Level

Experienced Professionals w/ assistance from Field Technicians


General Condition & Value Inventory (ID process))

Stream Visual Assessment Protocol - SVAP (NRCS)

Skill Level

Trained Field Technicians w/ assistance from


ID Issues, Objectives & Prioritize Reaches/Complexes/Sites for Mgt, Restor., and/or Monitoring

(Experienced Professionals)

  • Select Designated Monitoring Areas (DMAs)for Sites Requiring Additional Information

    Monitor to track achievement of objectives (Experienced Professionals)

  • Monitor DMAs

  • Use observational procedures (e.g. photos) for gross changes & simple issues (Experienced Professionals)

    Use quantitative/measured protocols to detect finer changes/trends (Trained Field Technicians)

Repeat monitoring to evaluate management

  • Analyze/Evaluate Data

  • Complete (PFC) using trend monitoring data& implement Adaptive Management

    (Experienced Professionals)

Monitoring data pfc
Monitoring Data & PFC

  • Monitoring data can go far in supporting a PFC assessment -- where monitoring data is collected, PFC should be validated


Multiple Indicator Monitoring Metrics

  • Annual Use Metrics (Short-Term Monitoring)

    • Median & Mean Stubble Height

    • % Streambank Alteration

    • % Woody Use

    • Mean Stubble Height for Dominant Key Species

  • Condition Metrics (Long-Term Monitoring)

    • % Stable Streambanks

    • % Covered Streambanks

    • % Saplings and Young Woody Vegetation

    • % Mature Woody Vegetation (and dead)

    • Vegetation Erosion Resistance Rating (Greenline Stability Rating)

    • % Hydric Vegetation

    • % Hydric Herbaceous

    • Mean Greenline-Greenline Width (GGW)

    • Ecological Status

    • Wetland Rating

    • Mean Width & Depth, Substrate Composition


There is no silver bullet and frankly you probably don’t need one. It is far more important to be able to find the right kind of gun, be able to load the gun … and perhaps most importantly, be able to figure out where the werewolf is.

Matthew Oliphant, Useability Works, 03-22-2006