Bob McKane: Nisqually Community Forest VELMA modeling
Working forests can also recover salmon.
This talk describes several tools VELMA (Visualizing Ecosystem Land Management Assessments), PENUMBRA (steam shade and temperature model), and EDT (Ecosystem Diagnosis and Treatment).
The Mashel watershed currently shows pretty intensive clearcut management on private commercial forest lands with the state lands having more thinning and less intensive management.
VELMA – Models hydrological and biogeochemical processes. It is a grid based model. Hydrological – Vertical and lateral flow, Biogeochemical – plant-soil carbon and nutrient dynamics, transportation of dissolved nitrogen etc. Drivers of change such as climate, fire, harvest, fertilization etc. Using remote sensing (LandTrendr tool on Geosat data) to determine the past and current conditions on the landscape. It has been shown that young vigorously growing forests can transpire over three times more water than old forests. The VELMA model was calibrated based on work in the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest. The effects on small forests scale well to larger forests like the Mashel. The model, without further adjustment, has shown the ability to correctly predict flow in the Mashel. The take home message is that 40 yr clearcut September minimum flow is 2 cfs vs a 100 year which has a minimum of 11 cfs. Older trees can substantially increase summer low flows compared to the present day Mashel.
PENUMBRA: Stream shade and temperature model. Currently being integrated with VELMA. results will be available next January. Important for thinking about developing instream climate refuges for fish.
EDT:Ecosystem Diagnosis and Treatment. EDT is a fish life cycle model
Key goal is to transfer the tools to the Nisqually Community Forest team so that they can use them to drive management decisions on the community forest.