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WWRC 85-17(i)
Range Management's Wildland Watershed Research Effort


Theory, research approach and preliminary results of studies designed to reclaim degraded desert steppe streams and riparian zones in Wyoming will be presented. Organization, funding, and facilities will be explained as they relate to solving water and range problems in Wyoming. Study efforts blend with other water related research programs initiated by the Wyoming Water Research Center and will help solve water related resource questions like: 1) How does water storage differ between degraded, natural, and improved riparian zones of high desert steppe streams? 2) Do different stream reaches have different water storage capabilities along improved streams and riparian zones? 3) Do improved riparian zones change flow regimes and, if so, is there a prolonged release of water for downstream users during periods of shortage? 4) What are the hydrologic responses associated with riparian zone improvement practices such as: damming by beavers and instream flow structures, willow and grass establishment; brush control (burning, spraying) and fertilization? 5) Can riparian zone improvement practices initiated reduce nonpoint source pollution downstream? 6) What are the hydrologic responses associated with grazing of improved riparian zones by livestock and wildlife? and 7) What are the economic costs and benefits of improving riparian zones?

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