An ecosystem is a dynamic community of biological organisms, including humans, and the physical environment in which they interact. Ecosystem management by the Corps shall be a proactive, goal-driven approach to sustaining ecosystems and their values. The Corps will manage communities to promote regional environmental values occurring on project lands toward sustaining ecosystems in which the project lands and waters occur.
- Ecosystem Management Principles
Forest and Woodland Management
The Forest Cover Act provides a statutory mandate for multiple use forest management or other vegetative cover management, on project lands and waters. Forest and Woodland management will be applied to develop, maintain, protect and/or improve vegetation conditions for timber, fish, wildlife, soils, recreation, water quality and other beneficial uses.
Grassland management is within the mandate of the Forest Cover Act. The Corps will provide for the protection and development of vegetative cover other than forests and woodlands as well as establish conservation measures for its maintenance. Grassland management techniques will be applied whenever the opportunity exists to protect native grasslands or prairie and improve vegetative conditions as a soil conservation, watershed protection, fish and wildlife habitat, or range management practice. The publication Status and Importance of Prairie Ecosystems on Corps of Engineer Projects describes current acreages of native grasslands on Corps projects and their value to the Corps and the nation.
The Forest Cover Act provides for the development of other vegetative cover, such as wetlands, so as to yield maximum benefit and otherwise improve such as areas. Wetlands are those areas inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas. Existing wetlands will be protected, conserved and maintained. On hydric soils consideration and management emphasis should be given to returning, operating and/or maintaining wetlands for wetland plant communities. Consideration should be given to buffering the wetland within an adequate amount of land to prevent abuse or loss form adjacent land uses. The development and maintenance of wetlands should integrate the needs of fish and wildlife and support national programs and efforts.
All land management prescriptions developed for use at water resources development projects will integrate the constraints and favorable characteristics associated with specific soil types and land use capabilities. Land uses and conservation practices recommended by the Natural Resources Conservation Service for each land use capability class should be carefully considered. Where available, an inventory of soil survey maps will be maintained at project offices and referenced in management prescriptions. Constraints associated with the soils and land use capabilities of a particular site will be identified. Site specific prescriptions for soils management including erosion control, sediment management and bank stabilization will be provided.