LOW TECH PROCESS BASED RESTORATION

The design documents details a structural treatment plan consisting of structures that mimic large woody debris accumulations (i.e., post-assisted log structures, PALS) and beaver dams ( beaver dam analogs, BDAs). In addition, the restoration plan also presents a set of complementary process-based (Beechie et al. 2010) restoration actions intended to promote beneficial geomorphic, vegetative, and hydrologic processes over 5-10 year period at which point these processes may be expected to become self-sustaining. During this time period, the planning and design documents should be relied upon to support acquisition of additional implementation funding, prepare and acquire permits, document restoration effectiveness, and/or to support other implementation components that may allow riverscape restoration to process. This restoration plan includes the following sections.

BEAVER DAM ANALOGS

Beaver Dam Analogs (BDA’s) are a relatively new conservation practice that Gilliam SWCD and NRCS are implementing around the John Day Basin. BDA’s are structures that mimic beaver dams and promote beaver activity. These structures are non-permanent and provide ranchers and cattle owners more surface water as well as groundwater recharge for their various needs. BDA’s are crucial in the continuation and preservation of our local perennial and ephemeral streams that help recharge groundwater as well as provide more surface water for various wildlife (i.e. fish, deer and elk.) BDA’s are a Low-Tech Process Based Restoration approach and is an alternative approach to the traditional engineered channel restoration that aims to reduce design and implementation cost by using low-tech restructures to mimic and promote  natural stream processes. The intent is to kick start processes that “let the river do the work”. Low-Tech Process Based Restorations uses simple cost-effective hand-built structures that mimic beaver dams and/or wood accumulations, which are abundant in healthy, functioning riverscapes. The photo above shows a few BDA’s on Thirtymile Creek down in Thirtymile Canyon.

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PROJECTS

Ferry Canyon Riverscape Restoration Plan: This planning and design document that describes a low-tech process-based riverscape restoration plan within the Ferry Canyon Creek Watershed. It was completed in October of 202. The project implementation which consisted of 127 structures ad 2.5 mile of restoration was also completed. 

North Fork Butte Creek: This planning and design document that describes as a low tech process-based riverscape restoration plan within the North Fork Butte Creek watershed. This was completed in September of 2020. The project implementation which consisted of 62 structures and 1.3 miles of restoration was also completed. 

Anderson East Fork of Thirtymile 2024: The planning and design document describes a low-tech process-based riverscape restoration plan for approximately 2.8 miles of tributary habitat within the Thirtymile Creek watershed.

Sniption Canyon, Thirtymile Creek; 2022: The design document describes a low-tech process-based riverscape restoration plan for approximately 1.7 miles of mainstream habitat within the Thirtymile Creek watershed. 

Upper Thirtymile Creek; 2022: This design document describes a low-tech-processed-based riverscape restoration plan for approximately 5.7 miles of mainstream habitat within the Thirtymile Creek watershed.

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DESIGN GOALS

  • Increase the proportion of the valley bottom composed of active channels and active flood plains.

  • Increase pond abundance.

  • Increase perennial surface flow extent during drought periods.

  • Increase wetlands and riparian vegetation extent, diversity, and abundance. 

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Dry Fork BDA
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