Using Science to Bridge Management and Policy: Terracette Hydrologic Function and Water Quality Best Management Practices in Idaho

Corrao, Mark V.
Cosens, Barbara E.
Heinse, Robert
Eitel, Jan U.H.
Link, Timothy E.
Society for Range Management
Publication Year: 
On The Ground• Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is a leading cause ofwater quality degradation on 40% of the semiaridlands within the western United States, with sedimentfrom runoff on agricultural lands making up 15%.• Managing NPS pollution through best managementpractices (BMPs) relies on site-specific knowledgeand voluntary application.• The dominant hydrologic processes in semiaridenvironments are a product of local climate, vegetation,and soil conditions; therefore, land use and ecosystemresilience invariably hinge on a balance of shifting, andoften competing, social and environmental drivers.• Our measurements of terracette hydrologic functionand existence on more than 159,000 hectares withinIdaho enabled an estimate of potential NPS erosionand sediment generation, emphasizing the value ofsite-specific scientific research for land managers.• Our study provides an example of how microtopographiclandforms, such as terracettes, are connectedwith state and federal clean water policy as oneexample of how interdisciplinary research can havefar-reaching application.Keywords: rangelands, terracettes, erosion, water,policy, best management practices.
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Society for Range Management

Rangelands, a publication of the Society for Range Management, serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of facts, ideas, and philosophies pertaining to the study, management, and use of rangelands. The journal features scientific and historical articles as well as Society news. It provides readers with scientifically accurate information in a user-friendly format, placed in context of the world we live in today. Rangelands is a practical (non-technical) counterpart of Rangeland Ecology & Management (formerly the Journal of Range Management). The Global Rangelands collection includes articles from Rangelands up to 3 years from the current year. Access to more recent content is available by subscription from BioOne and the Society for Range Management and may also be available at your local university library. 
(Become a SRM member)