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2.3 Indicators selected

There are many possible indicators of status and trends for ecosystem condition and human community well-being in the Sacramento River Basin. Some of these have been used in monitoring programs or for previous assessments in the watershed (e.g., the Lower Feather River Watershed Assessment, 2009, and the State of the Yuba: Shilling, 2004). A list of potential indicators was derived from sources like these, from the expertise of the TAC and regional watershed groups, and from the project team. A subset of the large potential indicator list was selected (Table 2.4) using criteria (Section 2.2) and evaluated in each subwatershed.

Table 2.4. Goal and objective-based indicators selected for the Report Card

Goal Objectives Indicators
A. Maintain and improve water quality and supply to sustainably meet the needs of natural and human communities 1) Maintain water quality for healthy aquatic systems i. Periphyton Cover and Biomass
ii. Surface Water Temperature
iii. Mercury in Fish Tissue
2) Maintain and restore natural stream flows for aquatic and riparian communities i. Flow Patterns and Alteration
B. Protect and enhance native aquatic and terrestrial species, especially sensitive and at-risk species and natural communities 1) Protect and enhance native bird populations i. Bird Species Diversity
2) Protect and enhance native aquatic invertebrate communities i. Proportion of Watershed in Agricultural/urban Development
3) Protect and enhance native fish populations ii. Benthic Macroinvertebrates Community Structure
iii. Fish Community Diversity
C. Protect and enhance landscape and habitats structure and processes to benefit ecosystem and watershed functions ^ 1) Protect and enhance aquatic habitat connectivity i. Aquatic Habitat Barriers
2) Protect and enhance terrestrial (native upland) habitat connectivity Fragmentation ii. Terrestrial Habitat
3) Protect and maintain natural variability and rates of primary production and nutrient cycling i. Carbon Stock and Sequestration
ii. Nitrogen Load/Cycling
D. Maintain and restore natural disturbance processes that balance benefits for natural and human communities 1) Reduce high severity fire frequency to more natural levels; encourage natural fire regimes that support native communities i. Fire Frequency
2) Reduce flood risk to human communities and encourage natural flood processes that support native communities i. Flooding and Floodplain Access
E. Maintain and improve the social and economic conditions, including benefits from healthy watersheds ^ 1) Protect and enhance wildlife friendly agricultural practices i. Pesticide Application and Organic Agriculture
2) Improve community economic status in balance with watershed condition i. School Lunch Program Enrollment