Evaluating Your Property
In Chapter 1: Living Along a Stream, you learned about how your property fits into the larger watershed and why it is important to consider these larger regional connections. In this chapter, you will learn ways to visually evaluate the conditions on your property using the Landowner Assessment Questionnaires and the Stream Classification Guide. Your notes from evaluating your property can be recorded on the Landowner Assessment Worksheet.
Landowner Assessment Questionnaires
The Landowner Assessment Questionnaires are split into 7 separate categories. Each category has text that explains what you should be looking for on your property and why these items are important, followed by the actual Questionnaire. While you don’t need to fill out all 7 at the same time, you will develop a more complete picture of the conditions on your property by the time you complete all of the Questionnaires and recording your notes and answers on the Landowner Assessment Worksheet. These notes and answers will direct you the most applicable types of Stewardship and Recovery Strategies for your property. You can then find the details of the strategies in Chapter 3: Stewardship and Recovery Strategies.
Stream Classification Guide
The Stream Classification Guide will lead you through a series of steps to determine the Entrenchment, Slope and Primary Streambed Material for your property. These factors will help you to determine what type of stream you have on your property. How you will install or design some of the Stewardship and Recovery Strategies will vary based on what type of stream you have.
Landowner Assessment Worksheet
As you complete the Assessment Questionnaires and the Classification Guide, you can record notes about your property on the Landowner Assessment Worksheet. In order to keep an up-to-date record of your property, you can update this Worksheet every year, every few years or after large events. It can also be helpful to evaluate your property at different times of year because you will see different conditions based on the water level, plant growth and other seasonal factors.
The Landowner Assessment Questionnaires on the following pages provide a guide to evaluating the existing conditions on your property in order to identify Stewardship and Recovery Objectives. In Chapter 3, you will determine specific Stewardship and Recovery Strategies to achieve these Objectives. Because streams and riparian corridors are complex systems with many moving parts, the Questionnaires are split into 7 distinct categories. Each category plays a role in the riparian corridor and it is important to complete all of the Questionnaires to make a comprehensive plan for your property. As you complete each Questionnaire, fill in your answers and additional notes on the ‘Landowner Assessment Worksheet’.
At the end of each questionnaire, you will have the option to have your answers emailed to you.