Understanding Historical Context to Inform Current Salmonid Recovery Planning
Aquatic habitat restoration projects typically require a historical perspective to help elucidate unimpaired conditions, the type and effects of past disturbance, and system trajectory. Providing historical context is an essential early step in developing restoration goals, objectives, and appropriate design approaches. Historical context also provides a common reference for landowners, resource agencies, and other stakeholders to determine what conditions are attainable and sustainable within existing constraints. While many types of historical analyses commonly apply to landscape-level changes in physical habitat, the concept of historical ecology equally applies to understanding bottlenecks in salmon and steelhead population dynamics and shifts in the life history strategies of these species resulting from habitat degradation and other stressors. The session will focus on key components of historical analysis, approaches appropriate to different settings, and applications to fisheries habitat restoration planning and design.