Land management activities can result in the delivery of fine sediment to streams. Over time, such delivery can lead to cumulative impacts to the aquatic ecosystem. Because many laws require Federal land managers to analyze watershed cumulative effects, field personnel need simple monitoring procedures that can be used directly and consistently. We have developed such a procedure. Our procedure was published in 1995 by the Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station as RM-RP-319. It is titled A Pebble Count Procedure for Assessing Watershed Cumulative Effects. This research paper describes a simple monitoring procedure for sampling a longitudinal reach of a stream channel several hundred feet long using a zig-zag pebble count that crosses all habitat features within a stream channel. The technique is particularly useful for comparing fine sediment levels between study (impacted) and reference (unimpacted) reaches. The publication thoroughly describes validation of the procedure, how to develop a study plan and an appropriate statistical framework for data analysis. Case studies are offered as well.
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