This data product was created by The Nature Conservancy as part of the project: A Stream Classification for the Appalachian Region (Sheldon et al. 2015). The stream classification covers parts of 17 states in the Eastern US, including eight Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (NEAFWA) states. The project area for this analysis was extended beyond the Appalachian LCC boundary to include all of the Ohio River Basin, and to include any 8 digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC8) watersheds that touched the Appalachian LCC or the Appalachian LCC Marcellus Shale Analysis Project Boundary, another aquatic resource analysis funded by the Appalachian LCC. The objectives of the stream classification were to: create a mapped classification of streams and rivers in the greater Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC), base the classification on key variables that structure stream and river natural communities and that could be mapped consistently across all streams and rivers in the region, and represent the natural flowing-water aquatic habitat types across this region in a manner deemed appropriate and useful for building flow ecology relationships and informing other conservation planning tools focused on aquatic biodiversity patterns. Spatial products were developed using a variety of data sources from public sources and partners across the region. Selection of key variables as well as analysis techniques and final data layers were reviewed by the Steering Committee consisting of more than 40 aquatic ecologists and conservation planners from across the project area. The classification used six primary attributes to define stream habitats: size, gradient, alkalinity, temperature, hydrology, and confinement. These variables were identified and agreed upon by a steering committee of stream and river experts representing the states and region. All mapped stream reaches (1:100,000) were tagged with information on each variable based on extensive data compiled, or modeled, for each reach. For each variable, ecologically meaningful class breaks were identified and the variable classes were combined to yield a regional taxonomy. The complete set of types was simplified using recommended prioritization and collapsing rules as follows: headwaters and small rivers were classified based on gradient, temperature, and hydrology (e.g. high gradient, cold, flashy, headwater) and medium to great rivers were classified based on confinement, temperature, and hydrology (e.g. low gradient, warm, unconfined, large river). The simplification identified 62 stream types within the study area. The flowline dataset is tagged with attributes to represent the 6 primary variables and the combined types. For more detailed attributes for the stream, please refer to the applcc_flowlines_distribute_detailed.xlsFunding for this project was supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative.Please see https://www.conservationgateway.org/ConservationByGeography/NorthAmerica/UnitedStates/edc/reportsdata/freshwater/habitat/Pages/default.aspx for more information about the stream classification as well as links to download relevant materials including the full report and accompanying spatial data. Olivero Sheldon, A., Barnett, A. and Anderson, M.G. 2015. A Stream Classification for the Appalachian Region. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Conservation Science, Eastern Regional Office. Boston, MA.
This dataset was then further refined to show this information for the state of Pennsylvania to be used within an online training course developed for the Riparian Restoration Decision Support Tool.