Salmon Coalition Group
Yes Something to think about.
After be characterized as being disingenuous by the SCWA Rep – for mentioning that restoration in Dry Creek, as proposed, is a bit of a gamble.
I have worked on and with restoration efforts since 1992. Playing with streams has outcomes that are quite surprising – even if done by the best scientists and experts in the filed. Sometimes we humans are not as smart as we think we are.
For now, feel comfortable in the restoration game by staying mostly out of the stream – fixing roads and erosion sources, planting riparian, and throwing a few logs in.
The fact that the discharges into Dry Creek can be somewhat controlled may help – but outcomes are still up for grabs.
Do not forget – it will take big money to run this project. There might be other more reasonable use of these funds.
So after the “disingenuous” comment (the author lacking the true meaning of the word) – I might say that there is a of something floating around here that I can not quite put a name to.
Please pay attention to the Science.
Hola mis amigos,
A little follow up to Wednesday’s meeting.. Unfortunately, we know very little about river restoration outcomes due to a general lack of quantitative pre- and post- project assessment and monitoring. This is, however, improving with an increased focus on monitoring and adaptive management. Attached is one of the more comprehensive studies of restoration outcomes in California.
G. M. KONDOLF, S. ANDERSON, R. LAVE, L. PAGANO,
A. MERENLENDER AND E. S. BERNHARDT 2007 Two Decades of River Restoration in California: What Can We Learn? Restoration Ecology
We took a slightly different approach looking at projects in the Russian River Basin in a paper I have also attached from the same journal. CHRISTIAN-SMITH J. and A. M. MERENLENDER 2008 The Disconnect Between Restoration Goals and Practices: A Case Study of Watershed Restoration in the Russian River Basin, California Restoration Ecology
Thank you all for appreciating the importance of science in the work you do as a coalition.
Buen fin de semana, Adina Merenlender
Understood and agreed. The price tag and other opportunity costs should be looked out.
From your disingenuous and aged (assuming disingenuous means fast for an old guy – that is what he meant didn’t he?) friend.
It is safe to say that there are no sure things in most human endeavors, and when one throws in an unruly natural system such as a river, predictability diminishes further. That said, there are a couple of factors that should be kept in mind regarding Dry Creek:
1. It is a regulated river with a relatively predictable flow regime, even including flood control releases, which will greatly reduce the potential for restoration works to be damaged.
2. Another aspect of regulation is that most of the historic sediment supply to Dry Creek lies upstream of the dam, consequently inputs of gravel are significantly reduced, limiting the size and extent of gravel bars that may form in response to high flow events and that in unregulated systems would be expected to be a major source of trouble for restoration works.
3. The balance of risk-reward for coho salmon habitat enhancement in Dry Creek appears very favorable given the volume of cold water habitat available, particularly when combined with conditions 1 & 2.
4. The reduced gravel load could be limiting for spawning habitat, depending on the supplies derived from the remaining tributaries, but there are some brute force solutions for that problem (dump trucks of spawning gravel added to the channel periodically).
Successful habitat enhancement in Dry Creek looks like a pretty good bet, and it is far less ambitious and far less complex than the plans for the Trinity River.
I agree with Alan Levine’s perspective that it may be wiser to improve watershed conditions without intervening too aggressively in stream channels as a strategy for unregulated rivers. Perhaps that is relevant for Dry Creek tributaries below the dam.
Matt O’Connor, PhD CEG O’Connor Environmental, Inc. Healdsburg