Forest Image

Extensive Riparian Status and Trends Project (ERST)

  • What:  Phase I of this study will establish the current status of key stream and riparian resource indicators. Phase II will identify trends in these indicators as a result of forest practice rules.

  • How:  Initial Sampling, re-sampling, and comparison of key resource indicators of sites over an appropriate time frame. Analysis of relationships between parameters.

  • Initiated:  2007 (Site selection began in 2006)

  • Scope:  Forested lands regulated by the Forest and Fish Rules (FFR lands). Fish bearing and perennial, non-fish bearing streams (Type F/S and Type Np) across Washington State.

  • Duration: Phase I to conclude in summer 2011. Phase II to be determined.


The Forest and Fish Report (FFR 1999) calls for both effectiveness and trend monitoring to inform the adaptive management program, with a 10-year time window to begin assessment of water quality trends. A monitoring framework was developed (MDT 2002) to guide FFR monitoring and research efforts. The framework consists of three types of monitoring at different spatial scales. This study focuses on landscape scale monitoring to estimate the current status and future trends of key indicators of input processes and habitat conditions statewide (Extensive monitoring scale).

Objective and Purpose

The ERST project will occur in two distinct phases. Phase I estimates the current status conditions. Phase II consists of analogous future sampling efforts that will be used to ascertain what changes may have occurred over time (trend) and relate them to the applied forest practice prescriptions. Phase I results will inform the need for and design of Phase II.

The objectives of Phase I are to:

  • Describe the frequency distribution of water temperature metrics (maximum summer stream temperature and 7-day mean maximum summer stream temperature), in-channel physical characteristics, and riparian stand indicators in streams on FFR lands, stratified by region (Eastside vs. Westside) and stream type (F/S vs. Np).

  • Provide the data with which Ecology can evaluate compliance with water quality standards under the Clean Water Act.