Synoptic Wetlands Model Assessment

thematic map

A synoptic assessment of wetland function was recently completed in the four states that comprise EPA Region 7 (Schweiger et al. 2002). The synoptic approach attaches variables linked with wetland function to 8-digit Hydrologic Units (HUCs) and then uses those variables in different combinations to rank HUCs (Hyman and Leibowitz 2000, McAllister et al. 2000). The goal was to identify 8-digit HUCs within the four-state region in which regulatory action (e.g. careful permit review) would likely have the most benefits for conservation of wetland biodiversity. State natural resource management and regulatory agency staff need to understand how watersheds compare in terms of their importance for wetland conservation on a state-by-state basis. Therefore, we propose to revisit the synoptic model and to set priorities that are more meaningful on a state-by-state basis. We modified methods developed by the EPA Region 7 to rank watersheds based on their importance for wetland conservation on a state by state basis within EPA Region 7.