North Kaibab Ranger District
The North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest covers over 1,000 square miles of rugged terrain on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. With much of its era designated as "Wilderness," this is a diverse and extraordinarily beautiful landscape. The steep desert canyons deeply incise high forests of the Colorado Plateau, creating more than 1300 meters of topographic relief.
The Grand Canyon Wildlands Council began surveying springs in this area in 2000. using an early version of protocols developed by Dr. Stevens and Dr. Springer. in 2009 and 2010, Grand Canyon Trust surveyed springs in this landscape using similar methods. Both organizations contributed their data, which we compiled in the Springs Online database. Since 2011, SSI has surveyed an additional 30 springs, which volunteers from Northern Arizona University, Penn State University, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Grand Canyon Wildlands Countil, Grand Canyon Trust, the Navajo Nation, and the Hopi Tribe.
Application of Springs Ecosystem Assessment
Between 2011 and 2013, with support from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, an interdisciplinary team consisting of professionals and volunteers from Northern Arizona University, the Springs Stewardship Institute, the Grand Canyon Trust, and the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council, conducted springs ecosystems assessments (SEAP) on 200 springs across Coconino National Forest (CNF) and North Kaibab Ranger District (KNF).
Forest Service personnel supplied the research team with priorities pertaining to certain characteristics, which should be considered when assessing springs ecosystems. The criteria, determined by the forest managers, were used to select the top quartile of the springs in the study for increased stewardship. Stewardship plans for the selected springs were developed by the team as for the land and resource managers of CNF and KNF.
The information from the project was disseminated to the land and resource managers, various stakeholders, as well as the public, all in an effort to promote increased stewardship of springs ecosystems. The team formed in this project will continue to work with the Forest Service to seek future opportunities (i.e. the Four Forests Restoration Initiative and the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Program) to address the prioritized stewardship actions for springs in the region.