Springs Inventory Protocol (SIP)
Having comprehensive data inventory is essential to ecosystem stewardship. SSI's systematic Springs Inventory Protocol (SIP) provides essential information, as well as effective monitoring methods for springs stewardship. The distribution of springs and current status of their resources and processes are important for assessment, monitoring, and management planning; allowing land managers to be more efficient at springs management.
The data also provides information on aquatic, wetland, riparian, and upland linkages. The interdisciplinary nature of the inventory data aids the process of improving the understanding of springs ecosystem ecology, distribution, status and restoration. The techniques used in the inventory process are derived from careful review of scientific literature and over a decade's worth of field experience across North America. Dr. Larry Stevens and Jeri Ledbetter have inventoried many different spring types, all subjected to different uses. From pristine springs in national parks, to springs fenced and utilized for livestock grazing, to springs used for domestic water supplies, and even urban springs used for intensive recreation.
SIP And the Springs Database
SIP is based on the Springs Ecosystem Conceptual Model of Stevens and Springer (2005), and is directly related to the structure of the Springs Database. It is the first step in inventory collection, which informs the next stage, Springs Ecological Assessment Protocol.
SIP focuses on the physical characteristics and condition of the spring's ecosystem. A team of experts with knowledge of geography, hydrology, biology, socioeconomics, and anthropology can typically gather the field information in 1.5 to 3 hours using SSIs standardized field sheets.