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Title: An evaluation of wilderness and aquatic biointegrity in western Montana

Author: Hitt, Nathaniel P.; Frissell, Christopher A.;

Date: 2000

Source: In: McCool, Stephen F.; Cole, David N.; Borrie, William T.; O’Loughlin, Jennifer, comps. 2000. Wilderness science in a time of change conference—Volume 2: Wilderness within the context of larger systems; 1999 May 23–27; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 138-142

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Although the Wilderness Act of 1964 was justified in part by the importance of aquatic conservation, implementation of the Act has primarily focused on protecting terrestrial ecosystems. In this paper, we investigated the role of Congressionally-designated wilderness towards conservation of aquatic biointegrity in western Montana. To evaluate trends between 6th code watersheds (“subwatersheds”) with and without wilderness, we applied a previous Aquatic Diversity Areas (ADA) analysis which scored subwatersheds for indicators of aquatic biointegrity and conservation significance: road density, native/exotic fish ratio, fish stocking and occurrence of sensitive and endangered species. Wilderness containing subwatersheds scored disproportionately higher for aquatic biointegrity indicators than subwatersheds with other land uses (X2=115.71, P<0.001) but were not consistent in this regard.

Keywords: wilderness, conservation, aquatic biointegrity, watersheds, Aquatic Diversity Areas (ADA), Montana

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Hitt, Nathaniel P.; Frissell, Christopher A. 2000. An evaluation of wilderness and aquatic biointegrity in western Montana. In: McCool, Stephen F.; Cole, David N.; Borrie, William T.; O’Loughlin, Jennifer, comps. 2000. Wilderness science in a time of change conference—Volume 2: Wilderness within the context of larger systems; 1999 May 23–27; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 138-142

 


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