Su bwatersheds chiloquin Ranger District Winema National Forest

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--Chiloquin Ranger District Winema National Forest

February, 1996


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The following persons were assigned the task of gathering available information, researching local

knowledge of the watersheds through local publics, and evaluating conditions on-site. Together, as a

team, they have worked to assimilate the information necessary to prepare this report.

Ken Van Zee, S.O. Ecosystem Mgt.

Mike McNeil, S.O. Ecosystem Mgt.

Susan Puddy, Chiloquin R.D.

Richard Howard, Chiloquin R.D.

Tim Sexton, Chiloquin R.D.

Elizabeth Williams, Chemult R.D.

Elizabeth Budy, S.O. Archaeology

Susan Mattenburger S.O., Water Resources

Bradley Kerr, S.O., Ecosystem Mgt.

Barry Kolar, Chiloquin R.D.

Treg Christopher, Chiloquin R.D.

Team Leader, Writer/Editor

Hydrology, Geology, Climate

Silviculture, Vegetation

Range, Wildlife, Soils

Fire, Ecology

GIS/Database Mgt.

History, Human Uses


Fish Biology

Soils, Hydrology


Special thanks to the following individuals for their assistance, input or technical knowledge. Their

contributions helped make this report possible.

Kent Russell, Chiloquin District Ranger, for developing issues, and his unending moral support.

Jack Sheehan, S.O. EM Staff, for his divine leadership, and staying out of the way.

Rex Appleby, Chiloquin R.D., for his input, technical skills, and ever positive attitude.

Steve Trulove, Chiloquin R.D., for helping with GIS work.

Tuffy Eggsman, Chiloquin R.D., ditto.

Lorena Corzatt and Crew, S.O. Forest Hydrologist, for stream survey work.

There are no doubt some that I forgot, but thanks to all that helped.



1. INTRODUCTION- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I

II. OVERVIEW----------------------------------- 2

History and Human Uses--------------- - - -- - ---- 2

Topography- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5

Geology------------------------------------------- - ---- - ----- --------- --------- - - 5

Climate--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5

Soils------------ ----------- 6

Streams-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7

Vegetation----------- - --- - - ------------------- --- - ---- ------ - - 7

III. ISSUES AND KEY QUESTIONS-------------------------------------------- - 1 2

A. Stream channels, soil productivity, and basic hydrologic function have changed

from the reference era conditions in the Hog, Yoss and Skellock drainages. ----------- 12

1. What specific changes have occurred in stream channels, soil productivity

and hydrologic function in the Hog, Yoss and Skellock Analysis Area? How and

where have the road and railroad systems extended the natural stream system? ------- 12

Hydrologic Function-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 12

Channel Morphology- ----- - ---- --------- -- -- ---------- --------- 12

Soil Productivity------------------------------------------------------------------------------------13

Fire suppression effects ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 13

Potential timber harvest effects -------------------------------------------------------------- 13

2. Have the timing and duration of peak flows changed detrimentally in the Hog,

Yoss and Skellock drainages since the reference era? --------------------------------------- 14

3 Has the extent of coverage of riparian hardwood wpecies declined since the

reference period?----------------------- - -------------------------- 15

Extent of Riparian Types and Descriptions ------ ------------------------------ 15

Standing/pooled water -------------------------------- ------------------------------ 15

Klamath Marsh ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 16

Riparian Types -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I 7

Reference era condition ----------------------------------------------------- - 18

Current condition - --- ----- - ----------------- -------------------- 1 8

Predicted future condition ---------------------------------------------------------------- 20


4. What is the relationship of upland vegetation stocking to water yield? ------------------ 20

Historical Upland Stocking and Water Use----------------------------------------------------- 20

By type and rooting depth --- - --------------------------------------------------------------- 20

By season of use ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 22

Current Upland Stocking and Water Use ----- 22

5. Are livestock operations affecting water quality? -------------------------------------------- 24

Historic Livestock Use ---------------------------- 24

Grazing on Public Lands --------- ----------------------------------------------------------------- 26

Grazing on private land -------------------------------------------- - ----------------------------- 26

B. Fire exclusion, grazing, timber harvest, road and railroad construction and other

management activities have changed the biological and physical characteristics of

the landscape from the reference condition. -------------------------------------------------- 29

1. How have vegetative conditions changed since the reference era? --------------------- 29

Characterization of Reference Era Vegetative Conditions -------------------------------- 30

Major plant associations ----------------------------------------------------- - 3 0

Characterization of Current Vegetative Conditions ------------------------------------------30

Major plant associations -------------------------------------------------- 30

Management Activities that Brought About the Changes --------------------- - 3 1

2. Has biodiversity, as reflected by the variety of plant assoctation/seral stage

combinations and their distribution, been reduced as a result of higher conifer/brush

stocking levels? - ------ -- ------------------------------- - -1 - _ - _

3. What are the effects to the hydrologic function of Hog, Yoss and Skellock drainages

from encroachment of conifers and upland brush into the riparian areas? -------------- 32

4. What indicators/parameters exist in Hog, Yoss and Skellock drainages of downward

trends in the biological and physical characteristics of these landscapes? ------------ 32

Biological Indicators ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 32

Plantation situations - ----------------------- - --- 32

"Wild" or second growth stands ---------------------------------------------------------------

Stocking levels ------------------------------------------------------------- -------------- 33

Hardwoods/brush------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 3 3

Physical Indicators ------------------------------------------------ 34

5. How has private land management within Hog, Yoss and Skellock affected the

streams and their adjacent riparian areas? -------- ---------------------------- 34

Private Agncultural Practices ------------------------------------------------------------------ 34

Livestock grazing/pasture management ------------------34--------- --------- 3 4

Diversions, ditches ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 35

Timber Harvest ----------- ---------- - - ------------------------------- 35


Subdivisions and Housing Developments ------------------------------------------------------ 36

Cumulative Effects --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 36

Habitat modification ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 36

Fauna---------------------------------------------------------- 36

Flora------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 37

Rehabilitation/reconstruction-------------------------------------------------------------------- 38

6. What are the impacts to the watershed of maintaining current vs. reference era

vegetation stocking levels? ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 38

Current Stand Conditions -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 38

Impacts related to fire hazard ----------------------------------------------------------------- 38

Prescribed burning impacts --------------------------------------------------------------------- 39

Impacts related to insects and disease ------------------------------------------------------- 40

Competition induced stress ----------------------------------------------------------------- 40

Exotic diseases ------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------- 40

Linkage between insect-disease mortality and fire hazard increase ------------------ 41

Silvicultural impacts---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 41

Ponderosa pine type, including current mixed conifer ---------------------------------- 41

Reference Era Stand Conditions ----------------------------------------------------------------- 42

Ponderosa pine historic range ----------------------------------------------------------------- 42

Transition Stand Conditions ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 43

C. The current risk of stand replacement events from wildfire, insects and disease

appears to be increasing.

1. How do the current and reference era risks of stand replacement events differ in

terms of frequency and susceptibility? ------------------------------------------------------- 44

2. What actions or events would lead to a reduced ridk of stand replacement events? --- 46

3. Are stand replacement events necessarily undesirable, if not, in what situations

would they be beneficial? -------------------------------------------------------------------------- 47

D. Vast portions of the watershed have experienced potential soil compacting activities.

1. To what extent and degree has compaction occurred? What areas are showing

detrimental effects of the compaction? - ----------------- 48

2. Which soils within the watershed are most susceptible to compaction and which

are least susceptible? -------------- - 50


IV. MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS ---------------------------- 53

Klamath Marsh ----------------------------------- 53

Stream Restoration ------------------------------------------------------ 53

Road and Railroad Grades --------------------------------------------------------------- 54

Fish- -------------------------------------------------------- - 54

Prescribed Fire ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 55

Bibliography ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 56


Appendix A - Management Areas

Appendix B - Proper Functioning Condition Map and Summary

Appendix C - Harvest Areas on A2 Soils


The intent of this assessment is to provide a general description of ecosystem structure, processes, and

functions occurring within the Hog, Yoss and Skellock Watersheds. The analysis area includes 86,402

acres of Winema National Forest land, 5,932 acres of private land, and 1,590 acres of State Forest

land, for a total of 93,924 acres. Understanding the past, present, and possible future of the vegetation,

riparian communities, wildlife, and other ecosystem components will help identify the potential, and

limitations, of the watersheds involved in this analysis.

This assessment is a blend of current scientific knowledge, information gathered during on-site visits,

interviews with local publics familiar with the area, and a review of existing records and documents.

New inventories and surveys to fill gaps in existing information will be added to future versions as

they become available.

This is not a decision document. It will neither resolve issues, nor provide answers to specific policy

questions. This document is prepared to provide a foundation for project level analysis and support

the line officer in decision making.

The Chiloquin District Ranger requested that the assessment team focus on the following issues:

A. Stream channels, soil productivity, and basic hydrologic functions have changed from the

reference era conditions in the Hog, Yoss and Skellock drainages.

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