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Implementation of Regional Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (REMAP) Western Pilot Study Within Idaho

Robert Steed 1, Donald W. Zaroban 1, Cynthia S. Grafe 1, William H. Clark 2, Mary Anne Nelson 1

1 Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (IDEQ), Boise, Idaho
2 presently at: Idaho Power, Boise, Idaho

The Idaho monitoring component of the Regional Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (REMAP) Western Pilot Study is being implemented between 2002 and 2004. The purpose of this pilot study is to refine monitoring tools that produce unbiased estimates of the ecological condition of waters across a large geographic area and to demonstrate the utility of those tools in large-scale assessments. The Idaho REMAP project was developed and funded through Region X EPA and implemented by Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. This effort includes the collection of habitat and biological data on rivers (Strahler stream order 4 or greater) throughout Idaho. In contrast to Idaho's wadeable stream monitoring network, many streams, unwadeable, have not had habitat, biological and chemical data collected, in a systematic fashion. Seasonal temporaries, as well as DEQ senior staff are conducting monitoring from whitewater rafts. The EPA randomly selected monitoring stations through a geographic information system process. DEQ then used Idaho specific waterbody size criteria (fifth order (1:100k hydrology) or larger, 15 or greater meters in wetted width, and/or minimum of 0.4 meters in depth) to select a subset of stations within appropriately sized streams to be monitored. Seventeen sites were monitored during 2002, 15 in 2003 and 19 are planned for 2004.

Keywords: Idaho, surface water, large stream, river, habitat, bioassessment, biocriteria, monitoring, and REMAP.

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