In 2009, at the behest of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Interagency Review Team (IRT), and with funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the Southeast Alaska Land Trust hired an independent consulting firm (CH2M Hill, 2010) to review and critique 16 wetland rapid assessment methods potentially applicable to Southeast Alaska. The Wetland Ecosystem Services Protocol-US (WESPUS) was selected for adaptation to Southeast Alaska.
In 2011, with support from the USFWS, the Wetland Ecosystem Services Protocol for Southeast Alaska (WESPAK-SE) was initially calibrated with 32 Southeast Alaska wetland sites. The Southeast Alaska Land Trust hosted the first classroom training and field-based trials of the WESPAK-SE protocol in April 2012.
WESPAK-SE was updated in 2013-2015 with funding provided by USFWS Coastal Impact Assistance Program grant, and in coordination with the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) as part of the City’s efforts to prepare a wetlands management plan for the Juneau area. During 2013 and 2014 statistically selected tidal wetlands (55 sites) and non-tidal wetlands (119 sites) were assessed to refine the protocol and provide a relative context for interpreting the WESPAK-SE scores.
The WESPAK-SE Manual (v2.0) was finalized in March of 2015. The tidal wetland calculator (v2.0) was most recently updated in October of 2015. The non-tidal wetland calculator (v2.1) was most recently updated in November of 2019.
The Southeast Alaska Land Trust collaborated with the Southeast Alaska GIS Library at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) to develop an online GIS module to provide public access to wetland and land cover information: http://seakgis.alaska.edu/flex/wetlands/
WESPAK-SE is intended to provide agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the development community a regionally-specific, consistent, and science-based tool for evaluating the functions and values of wetland sites in Southeast Alaska for landscape assessment, impact analysis, mitigation planning, and conservation actions. WESPAK‐SE is intended to help address the national policy goal of “no net loss” of wetlands, as that goal pertains not only to wetland acreage but also to the ecosystem services (functions and values) that wetlands provide naturally.
Below you will find the files comprising WESPAK-SE.
*If you are interested in participating in the Southeast Alaska regional database of WESPAK-SE data, please complete the following steps:
- Go to: https://knb.ecoinformatics.org
- Create an account and log in.
- Click on the “Share” tab at the top of the page.
- Completely fill out the “Upload your data” form. In order for us to be able to keep track of all of the WESPAK-SE data within the KNB repository of scientific data, be sure to include the following:
— Under “Basic Information”, “Data Set Title”, make sure to put WESPAK-SE in the title.
— Under “Keyword”, make sure to add WESPAK-SE as a keyword to your data.
- Upload your WESPAK-SE calculator.
- Click “Submit Data Set Description”.