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					       NRCS                           Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Guide – Marsh

                                                                                                  April 2010
Owner/Operator:                                                   District:
County:                                                           Field Office:
Assisted By:                                                      Acres:
Location:                                                         Date:
Farm & Tract #:                                                   Contract #:

Screening Questions: A yes answer to any of the following screening questions means you cannot use
this model for the site. Note: If working in an Eastern Plains depressional wetland, you should use the
Playa model.
1) Does this site have standing, deep water averaging more than 6’ deep for part/all of the year during
normal years? (A yes means you are in a deep water habitat)
2) Does the site have saturated soils, but never ponds water? (A yes means you are either on a wet
meadow or non-wetland)
3) Does site have organic soils? (A yes means you are in a peat/fen wetland)

4) Does site have trees and/or shrubs? (A yes means you are in a riparian area)

General Information: Marshland wetlands are characterized by periodic or continuous flooding with emergent,
macrophytic vegetation and mineral soils. Water levels tend to fluctuate throughout the year and may
occasionally dry completely. These wetlands depend on precipitation, ground water, irrigation runoff, or sub-
irrigation for their water source. Herbaceous plants such as rushes, sedges, bulrushes, and cattails dominate
these wetlands (CDNR 1993, CDOW 2000).

             Hydrologic & Morphologic Condition Factors
 1 Flooding Depth (look at average water depth)                                   Value        Before     After
 a) Flooding is 8-12” deep when it occurs                                                1.0
 b) Flooding is between12-24” deep when it occurs                                        0.7
 c) Flooding is 4-8 “ or 24-36” deep when it occurs                                      0.5
 d) Flooding is <4” deep or >36”when it occurs                                           0.3
 e) Flooding never occurs                                                              0.0*
                                                                 Enter value here ------->

 2) Flooding Duration (duration of each flood episode)                            Value        Before     After
 a) Flooding is from 30-45 days                                                          1.0
 b) Flooding is from 45-60 days                                                          0.7
 c) Flooding is from 60-90 days                                                          0.5
 d) Flooding is more than 90 days or less than 30 days                                   0.1
                                                                 Enter value here ------->

 3) Flooding Frequency                                                       Value             Before     After
 a) Site goes through at least 2 flood-draw down cycles every year                     1.0
 b) Site floods once a year                                                            0.5
 c) Site floods less than once a year                                                  0.1
                                                               Enter value here ------->

 Average Value for Hydrologic Conditions Variables ------------------------------------>       #DIV/0!   #DIV/0!
 *A “0” value is a limiting factor and means you are using the wrong model.
                                Vegetation Factors
4) Percent Native Vegetation                                              Value                              Before     After
a) Vegetation is comprised of >90% native species & food plants                     1.0
b) Between 75-90% of vegetation is native species & food plants                     0.7
c) Between 50-75% of vegetation is native species & food plants                     0.5
d) Between 25-50% of vegetation is native species & food plants                     0.3
e) <25% of vegetation is native species & food plants                               0.1
                                                            Enter value here ------->

5) Vegetation Composition                                                     Value                          Before     After
a) Predominant vegetation consists of several species of the following:
   sedge, rush, cattail, bulrush, smartweed, duckweed, or other important               1.0
   forage plants (seek advice of biologist for other plants)
b) Predominant vegetation is monoculture of cattail or bulrush                          0.5
c) Predominant vegetation is invasive species (thistles, etc.) and/or
   monoculture of any species (other than those in b) and/or woody species              0.1
   (if woody species dominate, you are using the wrong model)
                                                                Enter value here ------->

   6) Buffer zone adjacent to wetland-In wetland complexes this may                                          Before     After
    consist partly or wholly of other types of wetlands or open water
a) Adequate buffer (at least 100’ wide) of properly managed native
   vegetation around perimeter of wetland (proper management includes
   prescribed grazing, mowing after nesting season ends (July 15th), and
   other wildlife oriented management as endorsed by biologist)
b) Buffer is over grazed, low plant vigor; or no-till small grains; or minimum
   till in a grass/legume rotation; or 50-100 feet wide with vegetation                                0.5
   described in a conservation plan
c) Buffer is severely overgrazed, high amounts of bare ground, some soil
   erosion, low plant vigor; or no-till row crops; or minimum till small grains;                       0.2
   or 30-50’ wide with any vegetation conditions in a or b
d) Buffer zone consists of row crops not covered above; or conventional
   tillage with any crops; or <30’ wide with vegetation conditions in a, b, or                         0.1
   c; or mowed during nesting season
e) Hard surfaces adjacent to wetland or no buffer                                                   0.0
                                                                            Enter value here ------->

7) Percent of Wetland with a Buffer Zone                                                      Value          Before     After
a) Buffer around more than 90% of wetland perimeter                                                 1.0
b) Buffer around 75-90% of wetland perimeter                                                        0.8
c) Buffer around 50-74% of wetland perimeter                                                        0.5
d) Buffer around 25-49% of wetland perimeter                                                        0.3
e) Buffer around 0-24% of wetland perimeter                                                         0.1
f) No buffer                                                                                        0.0
                                                                            Enter value here ------->

Average Value for 6 & 7 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------->        #DIV/0!   #DIV/0!
Average value for vegetation variables (Average values for 4, 5, and average of 6
& 7) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->   #DIV/0!   #DIV/0!
                               Water Quality Factors
8) Salt or calcareous deposits on vegetation                                                    Value          Before     After
a) No salt or calcareous deposits on soil or vegetation                                              1.0
b) Salt/calcium deposits on <25% of soil/vegetation                                                  0.7
c) Salt/calcium deposits on 25-50% of soil/vegetation                                                0.3
d) Salt/calcium deposits on >50% of soil/vegetation                                                  0.1
                                                                             Enter value here ------->

9) Eutrophication                                                                               Value          Before     After
a) No animal waste or feedlot runoff                                                                 1.0
b) Limited amount of animal waste from proper grazing                                                0.7
c) Significant input of animal waste from heavy grazing                                              0.3
d) Wetland receives input from a feedlot                                                             0.1
                                                                             Enter value here ------->

Average Value for 8 & 9 --------------------------------------------------------------------------->           #DIV/0!   #DIV/0!

                        Landscape Importance Factors
10) In kind wetlands – use for WRP and other wetland                                                           Before     After
restoration/creation activities. Look 5 miles in any direction from the                         Value
center of the wetland
a) Wet meadows or marshes comprise 33-66% of the surrounding area                                        1.0
   Wet meadows or marshes comprise 15-32% or 67-80% of the
b)                                                                                                       0.6
   surrounding area
   Wet meadows or marshes comprise 5-14% or 81-90% of surrounding
c)                                                                                                       0.3

d) Wet meadows or marshes comprise <10% or >90% of surrounding area                                      0.1
                                                                             Enter value here ------->

11) Size                                                                                        Value          Before     After
a) Wetland is >10 acres                                                                              1.0
b) Wetland is 5-10 acres                                                                             0.7
c) Wetland is 1-4 acres                                                                              0.5
d) Wetland is < 1 acre                                                                               0.1
                                                                             Enter value here ------->

Average Value for 10 & 11 ------------------------------------------------------------------------->           #DIV/0!   #DIV/0!

                                     HSI Scores                                                                Before     After
Hydrology ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------>    #DIV/0!   #DIV/0!
Vegetation ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->    #DIV/0!   #DIV/0!
Water Quality ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------>      #DIV/0!   #DIV/0!
Landscape Importance ----------------------------------------------------------------------------->            #DIV/0!   #DIV/0!

Overall HSI ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->   #DIV/0!   #DIV/0!

CDNR. 1993. Wetlands of Colorado. Colorado Department of Natural Resources. Denver. 20 pp.
CDOW. 2000. Colorado wetlands initiative 1997-2000. Colorado Division of Wildlife. Denver. 36 pp.

    Service Center                                                           Conservation District
    Akron      ADAMS                                                         Agate
    Alamosa    ALAMOSA                                                       Baca County
    Brighton   ARAPAHOE                                                      Bent County
    Burlington ARCHULETA                                                     Big Thompson
Byers        BACA          Bookcliff
Canon City BENT            Boulder Valley
Center       BOULDER       Branson-Trinchera
Cheyenne Wells             Burlington
Colorado Springs           Centennial
Cortez       CHEYENNE      Center
Craig        CLEAR CREEK   Central Colorado
Delta        CONEJOS       Cheyenne
Dove Creek COSTILLA        Colorado First
Durango      CROWLEY       Conejos County
Eads         CUSTER        Cope
Flagler      DELTA         Costilla
Fort Collins DENVER        Custer County-Divide
Fort Morgan DOLORES        DeBeque-Plateau Valley
Franktown DOUGLAS          Deertrail
Glenwood Springs           Delta
Grand Junction PASO        Dolores
Greeley      ELBERT        Double El
Gunnison     FREMONT       Douglas County
Holly        GARFIELD      Douglas Creek
Holyoke      GILPIN        Dove Creek
Hugo         GRAND         Eagle County
Ignacio      GUNNISON      East Adams
Julesburg    HINSDALE      East Otero
Kremmling HUERFANO         El Paso
La Jara      JACKSON       Flagler
Lamar        JEFFERSON     Fort Collins
Las Animas KIOWA           Fremont
Longmont KIT CARSON        Gunnison
Meeker       LA PLATA      Haxtun
Metro        LAKE          High Plains
Monte Vista LARIMER        Jefferson
Montrose     LAS ANIMAS    Kiowa
Northeast Prowers          Kiowa County
Norwood      LOGAN         La Plata
Pagosa Springs             Lake County
Pueblo       MINERAL       Longmont
Rocky Ford MOFFAT          Mancos
Salida       MONTEZUMA     Mesa
San Luis     MONTROSE      Middle Park
Silvercliff  MORGAN        Morgan
Simla        OTERO         Mosca-Hooper
Springfield OURAY          Mount Sopris
Steamboat Springs          North Park
Sterling     PHILLIPS      Northeast Prowers
Towaoc       PITKIN        Olney-Boone
Trinidad     PROWERS       Pine River
Walden       PUEBLO        Platte Valley
Walsenburg RIO BLANCO      Prairie
Woodland Park GRANDE       Prowers
Wray         ROUTT         Rio Grande
Yuma         SAGUACHE      Routt County
             SAN JUAN      San Juan
             SAN MIGUEL    San Miguel Basin
             SEDGWICK      Sedgwick County
             SUMMIT        Shavano
             TELLER        South Platte
             WASHINGTON    South Pueblo County
WELD   South Side
YUMA   Southeast Weld
       Spanish Peaks-Purgatorie River
       Turkey Creek
       Upper Arkansas
       Upper Huerfano
       Washington County
       West Adams
       West Arapahoe
       West Greeley
       West Otero-Timpas
       White River
       Yuma County

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