A lidar dataset is providing a high-resolution digital elevation model for modeling various natural resource related issues. The data collection is facilitating the development of models for wetland management and restoration on the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge and private lands.
A Stewardship Area was identified during the development of the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge’s Comprehensive Conservation Plan to focus refuge acquisition and private land conservation programs in watersheds critical to the refuge water supply and its connectivity to the larger landscape. Lidar data are being used to address multiple refuge management questions related to hydrology, vegetation, habitat, and hydro-geomorphology. Lidar bare-earth mapping of the Turnbull Stewardship Area has provided the USFWS with valuable data, which have enabled substantial improvements to be made to a number of refuge and partnership programs. The data will aid the USFWS and its partners (including the Bureau of Land Management and Ducks Unlimited) to make better planning decisions across this large landscape to effectively address the potential effects of climate change and other stressors such as agricultural land uses and urban development on critical habitat and species such as sage grouse. Use of these topographical data will facilitate planning and design of potential habitat restoration or enhancement projects both on refuges and private lands.
Uniquely patterned ground is common in the flood tracts of the Channeled Scablands and is often referred to as mima mound prairie. The mima mounds are visible in this lidar-derived bare earth model, appearing as small circles. Mounds are 2.5 to 15 m in diameter and about 3 m high. Background color shows elevation variations, red being higher ground.