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Title: Digital Mapping and Environmental Characterization of National Wild and Scenic River Systems

Spatially accurate geospatial information is required to support decision-making regarding sustainable future hydropower development. Under a memorandum of understanding among several federal agencies, a pilot study was conducted to map a subset of National Wild and Scenic Rivers (WSRs) at a higher resolution and provide a consistent methodology for mapping WSRs across the United States and across agency jurisdictions. A subset of rivers (segments falling under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service) were mapped at a high resolution using the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD). The spatial extent and representation of river segments mapped at NHD scale were compared with the prevailing geospatial coverage mapped at a coarser scale. Accurately digitized river segments were linked to environmental attribution datasets housed within the Oak Ridge National Laboratory s National Hydropower Asset Assessment Program database to characterize the environmental context of WSR segments. The results suggest that both the spatial scale of hydrography datasets and the adherence to written policy descriptions are critical to accurately mapping WSRs. The environmental characterization provided information to deduce generalized trends in either the uniqueness or the commonness of environmental variables associated with WSRs. Although WSRs occur in a wide range of human-modified landscapes, environmental data layersmore » suggest that they provide habitats important to terrestrial and aquatic organisms and recreation important to humans. Ultimately, the research findings herein suggest that there is a need for accurate, consistent, mapping of the National WSRs across the agencies responsible for administering each river. Geospatial applications examining potential landscape and energy development require accurate sources of information, such as data layers that portray realistic spatial representations.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. ORNL
  2. National Park Service
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
EB4500000; CEEB099
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Sponsoring Org:
EE USDOE - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE)
Country of Publication:
United States
GIS; geospatial analysis; Environmental concern