Event Title

Revegetation Following Channel Restoration in Cobble-Bed Stream Systems: Riparian Research on The Encampment River, Carbon County, Wyoming

Presenter Information

Randy Walsh

Location

Ellen Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

https://forestry.usu.edu/htm/video/conferences/restoring-the-west-conference-2014/

Abstract

The geomorphology of a river valley and characteristics of a river channel influence the frequency, duration, and intensity of flooding. Periodic flooding and bank inundation influences the size and structure of the stream channel and the characteristics of the riparian vegetation. Land use changes within many watersheds – including drainages of the Upper Platte Valley of southern Wyoming - have resulted in river systems that exhibit reduced dynamics, simplified gradients, and disconnected landscape components. A primary goal of ecological river restoration is to assist in the recovery of degraded stream systems by strengthening the hydrological, geomorphological, and ecological processes that sustain their integrity and resilience while working to achieve the desired future conditions defined for the landscape.

The Wyoming Game & Fish Department (WGFD), Trout Unlimited (TU) and the Saratoga-Encampment-Rawlins Conservation District (SERCD) have invested significant resources restoring, enhancing, and improving the Encampment River, its fishery, and the greater watershed. While restoration projects have been successful in meeting many important objectives, revegetation efforts along the constructed reaches has proven difficult due to the coarse cobble substrate native to the system. In addition, constructed banks retain very few fine sediments, as these tend to migrate when the substrate is moved and graded. In response to these challenges, a research project was initiated in 2013 which examines methods and materials to improve riparian revegetation along constructed reaches, and to evaluate both ecological and geomorphological responses to these revegetation efforts. This presentation will discuss this ongoing research effort, present preliminary results, and discuss the applicability of these findings to similar systems in the Intermountain West.

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Oct 21st, 11:20 AM Oct 21st, 11:30 AM

Revegetation Following Channel Restoration in Cobble-Bed Stream Systems: Riparian Research on The Encampment River, Carbon County, Wyoming

Ellen Eccles Conference Center

The geomorphology of a river valley and characteristics of a river channel influence the frequency, duration, and intensity of flooding. Periodic flooding and bank inundation influences the size and structure of the stream channel and the characteristics of the riparian vegetation. Land use changes within many watersheds – including drainages of the Upper Platte Valley of southern Wyoming - have resulted in river systems that exhibit reduced dynamics, simplified gradients, and disconnected landscape components. A primary goal of ecological river restoration is to assist in the recovery of degraded stream systems by strengthening the hydrological, geomorphological, and ecological processes that sustain their integrity and resilience while working to achieve the desired future conditions defined for the landscape.

The Wyoming Game & Fish Department (WGFD), Trout Unlimited (TU) and the Saratoga-Encampment-Rawlins Conservation District (SERCD) have invested significant resources restoring, enhancing, and improving the Encampment River, its fishery, and the greater watershed. While restoration projects have been successful in meeting many important objectives, revegetation efforts along the constructed reaches has proven difficult due to the coarse cobble substrate native to the system. In addition, constructed banks retain very few fine sediments, as these tend to migrate when the substrate is moved and graded. In response to these challenges, a research project was initiated in 2013 which examines methods and materials to improve riparian revegetation along constructed reaches, and to evaluate both ecological and geomorphological responses to these revegetation efforts. This presentation will discuss this ongoing research effort, present preliminary results, and discuss the applicability of these findings to similar systems in the Intermountain West.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/rtw/2014/Posters/1