Under this project a collaborative and integrated geodatabase of inventoried connectivity barriers within the South Central Lake Superior Basin (SCLSB) was developed to prioritize restoration for more than 2,000 inventoried stream crossings.
KBIC Natural Resources Department received funding through the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative to develop a collaborative and integrated geodatabase of inventoried connectivity barriers within the South Central Lake Superior Basin (SCLSB), to prioritize restoration for more than 2,000 inventoried stream crossings (see Figure 1). This project stemmed from KBIC’s participation in the Partnering for Watershed Restoration Group (PWR), a group of Federal, State, Tribal, non-profit, for-profit, and other organizations located in the SCLSB that was established in 2013, and assigned to develop a vision for restoration of riparian and aquatic resources in the S.C. basin. Once developed, the SCLSB geodatabase also contributes to the Great Lakes basin wide LCC prioritization model project, an initiative to develop an optimization model that will prioritize restoration projects on a landscape level and within regionalized watersheds. This is achieved through the unique capability of the SCLSB geodatabase, built and benefiting from the application of current GIS and remote sensing tools, including Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technologies, to derive seamless, coherent and accurate data outputs and models of the region.
(see figure 1)
Prior to this project there was no centralized geodatabase for agencies and organizations to refer to when prioritizing restoration within the SCLSB. In addition, available LiDAR data was not being employed for watershed health evaluation. LiDAR is a relatively novel remote sensing technology that is of particular value in providing accurate and precise three-dimensional estimates of topographic variables and forest canopy structure metrics, with a growing use in natural resource management applications (see Figure 2)
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