Photo-Monitoring – Capturing a Habitat as it Changes Through Time


Over the past week, I have spent my evenings combing through the thousands of pictures I have taken over the last few years.  I realized, after the third night in a row of deleting, filing, and editing, that I like to take pictures.  I wouldn’t compare myself to Ansel Adams or anything, but frankly, I’m lucky if the horizon in the picture is straight and I haven’t somehow captured my finger in the photo.   I like taking photographs because a picture captures a moment in time, forever; the photo becomes a point of reference, something to compare to.  So you can imagine how excited I was when I was recently asked to head out to our Sutter Basin Conservation Bank to help with our annual photo-monitoring.
Photo-monitoring is a task outlined in our bank documents in the management/monitoring section. It helps us to demonstrate to the key agencies our ability to meet and maintain performance standards at our banks.  The photos are taken at the same locations around the bank year after year and submitted as part of our annual report.  The location and quantity of these “stations” is determined while the bank is being developed and is dictated by the size of the bank, habitat type, and performance standards.
At Sutter Basin Conservation Bank ten ground-level photographic documentation stations were established in that Fall of 2009.  The stations are marked in the field with steel t-posts and their locations are recorded with GPS.   From the set of pictures below, you can see how the landscape changes over a three year period.  The photos are taken at Station 1, located in the upper right hand corner of the map. Enjoy! – Lydia Renz

Figure 4 Photo Points 100217 Letter-size v1 SB 2009 SB 2010 copy SB 2011