Practitioner Updates on the Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration
October 23, 2007

1.  Michigan translates flow-ecology curves to policy 

Michigan recently set an important precedent for ELOHA by publishing its proposed process for translating flow alteration-ecological response relationships to policy.  Consistent with ELOHA, Michigan has synthesized hydrologic data for ungaged sites, compared baseline to developed-condition hydrology, classified streams hydrologically, and plotted ecological indicators versus hydrologic alteration for each stream type.  Significantly, a diverse committee of stakeholders proposed the system for parlaying those relationships into water-allocation policy.  Although the flow-ecology curves are based on only one hydrologic and two ecological variables, the work in Michigan clearly demonstrates the utility of the ELOHA approach.  Find the full report at http://www.michigan.gov/documents/deq/Groundwater_report_206809_7.pdf (Michigan Groundwater Conservation Advisory Council, 2007, Report to the Michigan Legislature in response to Public Act 34, 37 p.)

2.  Southern Instream Flow Network funded
Working with partners, SUSR Regional Aquatic Ecologist Mary Davis recently established the Southern Instream Flow Network. SIFN will coordinate and support efforts of state-level teams working to protect and restore instream flows in AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, MO, NC, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA, and WV.  Members will represent state water-management and fish-and-game agencies, TNC, and other partners.  Last week, TNC freshwater science and government relations staff from these states met to understand TNC’s goals and begin strategizing TNC’s role in the network.  For information, contact mary_davis@tnc.org.
3.  ELOHA outreach materials posted
A four-page summary of the ELOHA framework and a PowerPoint presentation with notes are posted at ftp://ftp.tnc.org/SWP/ELOHA/ for your use.  The four-page summary is not for distribution outside TNC.  You’re welcome to use slides from the PowerPoint.  Please notify ekendy@tnc.org when you intend to give a presentation on ELOHA.
4.  ELOHA journal article to be submitted in November
The elusive ELOHA journal article, which now features 19 authors, is nearing the finish line.  Next month, the manuscript will be submitted to Freshwater Biology for a special issue devoted to environmental flows.  The attached flow chart summarizes the ELOHA framework as it stands today.  The most recent change is the addition of a geomorphologic sub-classification of stream types.
5.  ELOHA practitioners meeting in the works
Chris Konrad and Eloise Kendy are beginning to plan the first meeting of ELOHA practitioners for around April 2008.  For the first time, people who are applying regional-scale environmental flow methods at disparate places will have the opportunity to learn and share directly with each other.  Attendees will include TNC staff and their ELOHA partners.  Please contact ekendy@tnc.org with suggestions for high priority topics and invitees.
Eloise Kendy, Ph.D.
Director, Environmental Flows Program
The Nature Conservancy
Global Freshwater Team
656 N. Ewing
Helena, MT59601
(406) 495-9910 (Phone) 
(413) 502-0784 (Fax)