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Surface Water Quality Bureau
Watershed Protection Section
Wetlands Program

NMRAM:  New Mexico
Rapid Assessement Method

Download the NMRAM Manual and Field Guide PDFs today...

Maryann McGraw
Wetlands Program Coordinator
(505) 827-0581

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NMRAM Manual 3.1 MB Download the 3.1 MB PDF today...
NMRAM Field Guide 4.7 MB Download the 4.7 MB PDF today...

PROGRAM ESSENTIALS...

Bulleted item... PROJECTS
Bulleted item... WETLAND ACTION PLANS
Bulleted item... ISSUES AND LEGISLATION
Bulleted item... TYPES OF WETLANDS
Bulleted item... HEALTHY STREAMSIDE WETLANDS
Bulleted item... RAPID ASSESSMENT METHOD
Bulleted item... REGULATIONS
Bulleted item... PARTNERS & REFERENCES
Bulleted item... FREE RESOURCES

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The Wetlands Program has initiated the development and use of a rapid assessment framework to evaluate the ecological condition of riverine wetlands and their associated riparian areas throughout New Mexico. The New Mexico Rapid Assessment Method (NMRAM) was developed as a part of the SWQB Wetlands Program’s on-going efforts to promote effective management and protection of the state’s wetland resources. The overarching goal is to provide the necessary information to help prevent the continued loss and decline of New Mexico’s scarce and important wetland resources.

This version of the NMRAM is focused on riverine wetlands, possibly the most abundant type of wetland in New Mexico and the most impacted.

 

Significant time and funding is expended each year restoring and protecting New Mexico’s river systems and associated wetland and riparian areas. Riverine wetlands and riparian areas are the focus of many of these projects because they provide important functions that also maintain water quality in adjacent stream systems. Some of the important functions that riverine wetlands and riparian areas provide include sediment filtering, flood sequestration and reduction, erosion control, aquifer recharge, maintenance of stream temperature and stream flow, nutrient transformation and recycling, hyporheic interchange, and provision of habitat and maintenance of characteristic native populations. Riverine wetlands help maintain bank stability through the extremely dense and resilient fibrous root systems of typical wetland plants. Riverine wetlands also provide nutrients and detritus that maintain the food chain in adjacent rivers and streams, and provide habitat for beaver and other species that maintain the ecological integrity of stream systems.

The NMRAM Manual is organized to provide the user with a brief overview of rapid assessment and purpose for the NMRAM and definitions and descriptions of the wetland class, subclass, and geographic domain for which the NMRAM is intended. The NMRAM then presents detailed assessment metrics: 1) Landscape Context, 2) Size, 3) Biotic metrics, and 4) Abiotic metrics followed by a brief overview of stressor checklists. Finally, the NMRAM addresses guidelines for rating metrics and provides a scoring rollup worksheet. A Field Guide, prepared as a standalone document, provides detailed field protocols, worksheets, and a scoring rollup worksheet.

WOULD YOUR WATERSHED GROUP LIKE TO PARTICIPATE?

Contact us at:

The New Mexico Wetlands Program
ATTN.:  Maryann McGraw, Coordinator
New Mexico Environment Department
Surface Water Quality Bureau – Watershed Protection
1190 S. St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502

Tel.:  (505) 827-0581 FAX.:  (505) 827-0160
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