You are here

Riparian Restoration Practices

Site Assessments & Mapping

Weed Management

  • TechLine is a suite of print and online resources that provide invasive plant professionals access to new, innovative, and proven science-based information. The purpose of TechLine is to support invasive plant management programs by connecting researchers with managers of federal, state, county, and private lands so they may share the successes of their programs, techniques, and methods and learn from one another. 

  • The Pesticide Product and Label System (PPLS) provides a collection of pesticide product labels  that have been accepted by EPA under Section 3 of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  
  • This resource provides guidelines on treating woody invaives and secondary weeds with the recommended timing and type of herbicide.
     
    Developed by Fremont County Weed Management for Fremont, Custer, & Surrounding Counties
    April 2015
     
    Please see Fremont County Weed Control’s booklet, “Guideline for Weed Management Plans” for more details such as herbicide rates and specifics about weed control methods.
  • The intent of this user’s guide is to provide groups interested in setting up a viable prevention program in their area with the steps and resources to initiate and develop a weed prevention area (WPA).
  • This field guide serves as the U.S. Forest Service's recommendations for management of tamarisk in the Southwestern US. 

  • This USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website provides info on weed risk assessments completed to date. They are provided for interested stakeholders and may be useful in setting local policies or for informing resource managers. 

  • This document provides photos and characterists of the Colorado Watch List species. 

  • The proposed action includes the removal (hand cutting and herbicide treatment) of existing and potential arundo (Arundo donax) plants at 11sites (915 acres) located along the Virgin River in Washington County, Utah. The proposal also includes the removal (hand cutting and herbicide treatment) of existing Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) and tamarisk (Tamarisk Species) trees at three sites (170 acres) near Rockville, Utah and Washington, Utah. Removal of these exotic invasive species would improve habitat conditions for woundfin (Plagopterus argentissimus, Federally Endangered), Virgin River chub (Gila seminuda, Federally Endangered), Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus, Federally Endangered), Yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus occidintalis, Federal Candidate Species), several BLM Sensitive species and other wildlife species along the river.
  • Presentation from Mark (Sparky) Taber with the Grand Junction BLM at the 2016 Tamarisk Coalition conference on applied restoration techniques using machinery.

  • A presentation by Dr. Anna Sher on Weed Control and Native Plant Community Recovery after Tamarix Removal by Three Methods Over Five Years: Findings of Monitoring 40 Sites of the Dolores River Restoration Partnership.  Presented at Tamarisk Coalition's 2016 Conference.

  • Click the link above to access the Russian knapweed fact sheet produced by Colorado State University Extension.

  •  
     
     
    Choked Out: Battling Invasive Giant Cane (Arundo Donax) Along the Rio Grande/Bravo Borderlands
     
    Mark Briggs1*, Helen M. Poulos2, Jeff Renfrow3, Javier Ochoa-Espinoza4, David Larson5, Patty Manning6, and Joe Sirotnak7, Kelon Crawford8
     
    1RiversEdge West, Tucson, AZ; mbriggs@riversedgewest.org; markkbriggs@gmail.com; (520) 548-4045
    2Wesleyan University
    3Rio Grande Scientific Support Services
    4Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas
    5Big Bend National Park
    6Sul Ross State University (retired)
    7Bureau of Land Management
    8Rio Grande Scientific Support Services
     
     
    Biological invasions have myriad negative impacts on native biota and human livelihoods, worldwide. Along the U.S.-Mexico border, giant cane (Arundo donax), an aggressive non-native grass, grows in dense, nearly impenetrable stands along hundreds of kilometers of the Rio Grande/Bravo (RGB). Between 2008 and 2018, a diverse, multisector binational-team treated giant cane along 90 Km of this binational stretch of the river to improve aquatic and riparian conditions for native species as well as to enhance river access for riverside citizens and visitors. Monitoring of riparian plant cover over a ten-year period reveal significant reduction in giant cane cover and recovery of native woody riparian plant taxa.  However, continued management and monitoring is needed to better understand the long-term efficacy of this effort. As part of our presentation, we will highlight:
    • The methods used to manage giant cane;
    • The debate – Central points that our binational team discussed as part of making the decision to move forward with a concerted effort to manage giant cane;
    • Results: In addition to highlighting results of long-term riparian vegetation monitoring, we will also discuss other general takeaways from this work, including impacts of giant cane management on channel morphology, site conditions that appear to have a strong bearing on the effectiveness of management actions, working binationally, and the introduction of biologic agents to manage giant cane.
    • Taking stock as we look to the future.
     
     
     
  • A great overview of weed identification and control. Presentation focuses on type and timing of herbicide use, mostly targeting herbaceous species.

  • This list of chemical weed mix recommendations was produced by Weld County, Colorado.

  • Authors: Anna A. Shera, Hisham El Waera, Eduardo Gonzáleza,b, Robert Andersona, Annie L. Henrya, Robert Biedrona, PengPeng Yuea

    This report includes a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the vegetation response to a single watershed-scale restoration effort that includes 40 sites along the Dolores River from 2010-2014.

  • This paper presents results of research on total insect abundance in both invasive and native dominated riparian areas.

  •  
    Prepared by the RiversEdge West (formerly Tamarisk Coalition) in 2008, this document addresses options for the control, biomass reduction, and revegetation management components. All currently available technologies have been evaluated; however, not all are applicable for a given river location. Tamarisk is the focus of this document’s control component because it is the principle non-native phreatophyte in western watersheds. In general, the following discussion applies to Russian olive and other invasive trees but may differ slightly for each (e.g., herbicide used).
     
  •  
     
     
    Local Southwest Utah Partnership Engages Youth to Mitigate Flood Damage, Control Invasive Species, and Restore Native Habitat
     
    Wesley Pickett1*, Ian Torrence2, Aaron Wilson3
     
    1American Conservation Experience, Hurricane, UT, USA; wpickett@usaconservation.org
    2American Conservation Experience, Flagstaff, AZ, USA; itorrence@usaconservation.org
    3American Conservation Experience, Hurricane, UT, USA; awilson@usaconservation.org
     
     
    American Conservation Experience (ACE), a non-profit service organization, provides its young and diverse members with career-building opportunities in the field of restoration through education and hands-on experience. Facilitation of member growth comes partly through the organization's commitment to partners with like-minded federal, state, local, and non-profit land agencies and organizations that assist with member guidance and mentorship. Since the fall of 2014, ACE crews, based out of Hurricane, Utah, worked in conjunction with the Washington County Flood Control Authority (WCFCA). In August of 2012 Washington County, the City of St. George, Washington City, and Santa Clara City entered into an inter-local agency cooperative agreement establishing the Washington County Flood Control Authority.  The purpose of the Flood Control Authority (FCA) is to better share management, administration, and cost responsibilities for regional stormwater drainage and flood control concerns that cross common community boundaries. Projects that were completed under WCFCA guidance engaged youth crews in restoring riparian ecosystems around the Virgin and Santa Clara Rivers while protecting residential and commercial infrastructure in Washington County from potentially future devastating flooding events.
     
    Crews surveyed for salt cedar (Tamarix spp.), Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), giant reed (Arundo donax), flood debris piles, and damaged infrastructure (like gabion baskets and bridges). This work provided the WCFCA data on areas of infrastructural concern and highlighted priority areas for invasive species removal. ACE crews controlled salt cedar, Russian olive, and giant reed along the riparian corridors of the Virgin and Santa Clara Rivers by mechanical and chemical means. Additionally, along the Santa Clara River, ACE crews revegetated with native plant species in an area that was once clogged with vegetation and beaver dams and was previously at risk for flooding during high water events.
     
    Through monitoring, invasive plant control, and planting native species, ACE’s members played a critical role in the long term ecological restoration in Washington County’s Virgin and Santa Clara River corridors. Completing this work, in partnership with a local organization, advanced members’ restoration experience, knowledge, and skills through hands-on career-building opportunities. This poster will demonstrate how meaningful partnerships provide youth from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to engage in successful restoration projects and connect invasive plant management in a wilderness setting to an urban landscape.
     
     
     
     
  • A matrix developed by Tina Booton of Weld County for application rates and weed species treated by certain chemicals. 2019 version. 

  • This attachment includes range and pasture chemical recommendations. These recommendations were produced by Weld County, Colorado.

  • Yellow and Caucasian bluestems are introduced bunchgrass species that are becoming invasive in southwestern States after successfully invading the Central and Southern Great Plains. This field guide serves as the U.S. Forest Service’s recommendations for management of yellow and Caucasian bluestems in forests, woodlands, rangelands, desert, and desert scrub associated with its Southwestern Region. TheSouthwestern Region covers Arizona and New Mexico, which together have 11 national forests. The Region also administers 4 national grasslands located in northeastern New Mexico, western Oklahoma, and the Texas panhandle.

  • The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has published a new handbook for Habitat Restoration and Management of Native and Non-native Trees in Southwestern Riparian Ecosystems. This Handbook addresses wildlife use of non-native riparian habitats, including tamarisk, Russian olive, and Siberian elm. It also provides recommendations for restoration of riparian habitats following chemical, mechanical, and/or biological control of non-native trees. This handbook is available as an attachment to this email and will also be posted at http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/conservation/habitat-information/habitat... along with other guidelines for minimizing impacts of specific land use practices on wildlife and wildlife habitats.

  • This paper presents finding from several years of research along the Rio Grande examining the effects of woody invasives treatments on vertebrates. 

  • Abstract:
    Along the U.S.-Mexico border, an aggressive non-native grass, giant cane (Arundo donax), grows in dense, nearly impenetrable stands along hundreds of kilometers of the Rio Grande/Bravo (RGB). Between 2008 and 2018, a diverse, multisector binational-team repeatedly treated giant cane with prescribed fire and herbicide along 90 km of this binational river to restore aquatic and riparian habitat and native plant community composition. The large geographic scale, binational management response, treatment methods used, and development of a long-term monitoring pro- gram to quantify treatment impacts on the RGB's riparian plant community under-score the unique aspects of this effort. Results of this decade-long management experiment indicate that (i) the combination of a primary treatment of giant cane (using prescribed fire followed 4–6 weeks later by herbicide treatment of regrowth) and a secondary treatment (spot treatment of regrowth one or more years following primary treatment) was effective in reducing the extent and distribution of giant cane at relatively low cost, (ii) giant cane re-establishment following treatment is often not rapid, nor dramatic; and (iii) as revealed by analysis of riparian vegetation monitoring data, eradication of dense stands of giant cane have fostered significant and long-term reduction in giant cane cover and recovery of native woody riparian plant taxa.
    Important caveats to the long-term viability of managing giant cane hinge on better understanding the consequences of herbicide use, securing funding to cover the cost of re-treatment, and continuing river flow management focused on promoting the recovery of native riparian obligate plants over non-natives.

Sustaining or Improving Flows

Revegetation - Plant Materials

Monitoring & Reporting

  • This is a PowerPoint presented during a Riparian Monitoring Well Workshop that was held in Palisade, Colorado on March 18, 2013. The class was taught by Bruce Smith from Western Water & Land, Inc. 

  • This guide, a publication of the Nueces River Authority, describes riparian areas and their management, discusses general riparian restoration guidelines, delves into special issues in these areas, and provides assessment and monitoring information. 

  • While focused on Victoria, Australia, this guide provides any restoration practitioner with helpful information on highly efficient and cost effective revegetation methods. This publication aims to provide the practical 'know how' to help carry out your revegetation from start to finish. Section A covers the steps involved in a revegetation program, from planning and preparation to monitoring.
  • These resources, including a long-term management calculator, handbook, and factsheet are designed to help practitioners calculate how to budget for lasting conservation outcomes for restoration sites. 

  • A great deal of effort has been devoted to developing guidance for stream restoration and rehabilitation. The available resources are diverse, reflecting the wide ranging approaches used and expertise required to develop stream restoration projects. To help practitioners sort through all of this information, a technical note has been developed to provide a guide to the wealth of information available. The document structure is primarily a series of short literature reviews followed by a hyperlinked reference list for the reader to find more information on each topic. The primary topics incorporated into this guidance include general methods, an overview of stream processes and restoration, case studies, and methods for data compilation, preliminary assessments, and field data collection. Analysis methods and tools, and planning and design guidance for specific restoration features, are also provided. This technical note is a bibliographic repository of information available to assist professionals with the process of planning, analyzing, and designing stream restoration and rehabilitation projects. 
  • This technical reference applies to monitoring situations involving a single plant species, such as an indicator species, key species, or weed. It was originally developed for monitoring special status plants, which have some recognized status at the Federal, State, or agency level because of their rarity or vulnerability. Most examples and discussions in this technical reference focus on these special status species, but the methods described are also applicable to any single-species monitoring and even some community monitoring situations.
  • Stream Hydrology: An introduction for Ecologists (Gordon et al. 2004) - John Wiley & Sons.
     
     
    Since the publication of the first edition (1994) there have been rapid developments in the application of hydrology, geomorphology and ecology to stream management. In particular, growth has occurred in the areas of stream rehabilitation and the evaluation of environmental flow needs. The concept of stream health has been adopted as a way of assessing stream resources and setting management goals.

    Stream Hydrology: An Introduction for Ecologists Second Edition documents recent research and practice in these areas. Chapters provide information on sampling, field techniques, stream analysis, the hydrodynamics of moving water, channel form, sediment transport and commonly used statistical methods such as flow duration and flood frequency analysis. Methods are presented from engineering hydrology, fluvial geomorphology and hydraulics with examples of their biological implications. This book demonstrates how these fields are linked and utilised in modern, scientific river management.

    * Emphasis on applications, from collecting and analysing field measurements to using data and tools in stream management.
    * Updated to include new sections on environmental flows, rehabilitation, measuring stream health and stream classification.
    * Critical reviews of the successes and failures of implementation.
    * Revised and updated windows-based AQUAPAK software.

    This book is essential reading for 2nd/3rd year undergraduates and postgraduates of hydrology, stream ecology and fisheries science in Departments of Physical Geography, Biology, Environmental Science, Landscape Ecology, Environmental Engineering and Limnology. It would be valuable reading for professionals working in stream ecology, fisheries science and habitat management, environmental consultants and engineers.

     
     
  •  
     
     
    Supervised Classification of Russian Olive in the Animas Valley with NAIP Imagery and Object-Based Image Analysis
     
    Anna Riling1
     
    1University of Denver, Department of Geography and the Environment, Denver, Colorado, annariling@gmail.com
     
     
    Object-based image analysis (OBIA) incorporates not only spectral but textural and spatial elements of a class and avoids the “salt and pepper” effect of pixel-based classification with high-resolution imagery.  Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia) is an invasive species prevalent in the Animas Valley in southwest Colorado and is easily distinguished in aerial imagery due to its silvery-green canopy. This study used free, 1-meter, 4-band National Agricultural Image Program (NAIP) imagery to classify Russian olive in a study area on the Animas River, achieving a user’s accuracy of 91.3 percent with a K Nearest Neighbor classifier. Methodology and parameters from this pilot study are intended to be used in future efforts with feature extraction classifications for mapping Russian olive on a regional scale.
     
     
     
  • Rapid Monitoring Protocol used in the DRRP

  • Authors: Anna A. Shera, Hisham El Waera, Eduardo Gonzáleza,b, Robert Andersona, Annie L. Henrya, Robert Biedrona, PengPeng Yuea

    This report includes a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the vegetation response to a single watershed-scale restoration effort that includes 40 sites along the Dolores River from 2010-2014.

  • This paper discusses how scientifically sound monitoring and research programs have the potential to strongly influence how managers look at the Rio Grande bosque and restoration approahes. 

  • Stream Channel Reference Sites: An illustrated guide to field technique (Harrelson et al. 1994) - USDA Forest Service
     
    This document is a guide to establishing permanent reference sites for gathering data about the physical characteristics of streams and rivers. The minimum procedure consists of the following: (1) select a site, (2) map the site and location, (3) measure the channel cross-section, (4) survey a longitudinal profile of the channel, (5) measure streamflow, (6) measure bed material, and (7) permanently file the information with the Vigil network. The document includes basic surveying techniques, provides guidelines for identifying bankfull indicators and measuring other important stream characteristics. The object is to establish the baseline of existing physical conditions for the stream channel. With this foundation, changes in the character of streams can be quantified for monitoring purposes or to support other management decisions.
  •  
     
     
    Water Quality and Riparian Ecosystem Monitoring in the Impaired Waters of the Verde River Utilizing Drone Technology
     
    Jessica Stansfield 1*, Adrienne Crawford1*, and Doug Van Gausig2
     
    1Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ, United States of America; Adrienne.Crawford@gcu.edu and JessicaAStansfield@gmail.com
    2The Verde River Institute, Clarkdale, AZ, United States of America; Doug@verderiverinstitute.org  
     
     
    Drone technology can help assess water quality and riparian habitat health both in real-time and with long-term data collection. The Verde Valley saw an 82% increase in population from 1999-2015 and hosts over 4 million tourists annually. This population increase is putting pressure on watershed levels in two ways: 1) water consumption and 2) habitat health due to the popularity of recreational activities on the river. The method used demonstrates the capability for drones to collect water samples via an apparatus attachment along a 20-mile stretch of impaired water of the Verde River. The drone allows for field technicians to sample 10-12 sites in a three-hour window with minimal human disturbance and sample contamination via sediment upheaval. Using this technology has allowed for an increase in samples collected annually in this region with over 650 data points compared to 15 data points before drone use. Temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, and turbidity were measured for the selected sites and were analyzed for E. coli to assess human health risks.  Riparian zones with increased urbanization and runoff had exceedance levels of E. coli greater than 235 MPN/100mL (most probable number), which are exceeding the national standards for full body contact in recreational waters.  In addition, automated flight routes can also track topographical and vegetative changes of the ecosystem immediately following monsoon events, dam removals, and irrigation ditch installations. This combination of photogrammetry capabilities and greater accessibility for sampling makes drone technology an effective method for collecting baseline data and provides open-source data for researchers and stakeholders such as Arizona Game and Fish and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to preserve the Middle Verde River.  
     
     
     
     
     
  • 2018 Dolores River Restoration Partnership Annual Report 

Riparian Restoration Practices

  • The Association of Wetland Managers (ASWM) works hard to stay abreast of time sensitive hot topics, including new policies, regulations and trending topics of interest to those involved and/or interested in wetland management and practice. From time to time, these topics do not fit in any of our current webinar series offerings so ASWM started offering a Hot Topics Webinar Series as a way to get important information out quickly to a broad audience. Some of the topics in the past have included the Clean Water Rule, the Ramsar Convention and international projects, complex legal cases, environmental economics and more. These webinars are advertised through our website, newsletters, social media and emails. There is no specific day of the month when these webinars occur. For more information and/or to join our email list for notices about upcoming events, please contact Laura Burchill at laura@aswm.org.

  • A presentation by Dr. Anna Sher on Weed Control and Native Plant Community Recovery after Tamarix Removal by Three Methods Over Five Years: Findings of Monitoring 40 Sites of the Dolores River Restoration Partnership.  Presented at Tamarisk Coalition's 2016 Conference.

  • Abstract:  Throughout the world, the condition of many riparian ecosystems has declined due to numerous factors, including encroachment of non-native species. In the western United States, millions of dollars are spent annually to control invasions of Tamarix spp., introduced small trees or shrubs from Eurasia that have colonized bottomland ecosystems along many rivers. Resource managers seek to control Tamarix in attempts to meet various objectives, such as increasing water yield and improving wildlife habitat. Often, riparian restoration is an implicit goal, but there has been little emphasis on a process or principles to effectively plan restoration activities, and many Tamarix removal projects are unsuccessful at restoring native vegetation. We propose and summarize the key steps in a planning process aimed at developing effective restoration projects in Tamarix-dominated areas. We discuss in greater detail the biotic and abiotic factors central to the evaluation of potential restoration sites and summarize information about plant communities likely to replace Tamarix under various conditions. Although many projects begin with implementation, which includes the actual removal of Tamarix, we stress the importance of pre-project planning that includes: (1) clearly identifying project goals; (2) developing realistic project objectives based on a detailed evaluation of site conditions; (3) prioritizing and selecting Tamarix control sites with the best chance of ecological recovery; and (4) developing a detailed tactical plan before Tamarix is removed. After removal, monitoring and maintenance as part of an adaptive management approach are crucial for evaluating project success and determining the most effective methods for restoring these challenging sites.

  • This guide by Drs. Scott Nissen, Andrew Norton, Anna Sher, and Dan Bean offers key options and considerations for tamarisk treatment, including biocontrol, targeted guidance on how to develop management plans, implement various control strategies, and plan restoration for treated sites. Useful resource as an accompaniment to Sher et al. 2010. 
     
    Nissen et al. 2010.   
  •  
     
    Why Do Some Restoration Projects Fail and Others Succeed? A Quantitative Look at 243 Sites for Environmental, Management, and Social Factors
     
    Anna Sher1*, Annie L. Henry2, Lisa B. Clark2, Alex Goetz2, and Eduardo González2,3
     
    1University of Denver, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Denver, CO, USA; anna.sher@du.edu 
    2University of Denver, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Denver, CO, USA
    3Colorado State University Dept. of Biology, Fort Collins, CO
     
     
    Tamarix control projects in riparian systems vary widely in their success at meeting project goals. Researchers have investigated the role of removal methods and the environment to explain this variability, but the human component has rarely been explored. Our previous research had found that in this system, land managers mostly follow scientific recommendations regardless of background or attitudes, however, the question remained how much these choices, or even aspects of background or experience, actually explained restoration outcomes. This research quantifies the relative roles of environmental factors and both manager decisions and traits for explaining the impact of Tamarix removal projects throughout the southwestern U.S. To do this, we have created 243 pairs of sites where Tamarix has been removed with controls to quantify impact. Our response measure was a PCA of those metrics that mattered most to managers as a measure of success, that is, a change in 1) Tamarix cover, 2) total native species cover, 3) relative understory native cover, and 4) understory noxious species cover. We then determined how much of the variability in this dependent variable could be explained by commonly used environmental factors such as soil texture and chemistry, geography, measures of water availability, and removal method. We then determined to what degree human factors explained the remaining, unexplained variance (i.e., residuals). These human data were collected from 45 corresponding managers of these sites who completed questionnaires about their practices and backgrounds. We found that decisions made by managers beyond removal method mattered for the degree to which Tamarix removal changed plant communities, including what priorities had been established for the site and how many collaborators were involved with the project. This is the first study to quantify the direct relationship between human traits and vegetation in this ecosystem type, and with implications for improving restoration outcomes in the future.
     
     
  • This attachment includes range and pasture chemical recommendations. These recommendations were produced by Weld County, Colorado.

  • This manual details the very basics of restoration planning, techniques like planting, seeding, and preparing soil, and will also cover topics such as basic trail maintenance techniques that can be used in conjunction with common restoration ideas, as well as mechanized restoration, and more.  This manual, originally developed at Grand Canyon National Park (GRCA), applies to a broad range of environments. The techniques discussed were used in elevations ranging from 1500 to 9000 feet. Those elevations include the following major vegetation types: Mojave Desert Scrub, Sonoran Desert Scrub, Great Basin Desert Scrub, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Ponderosa Pine Forest, and Spruce-Fir Forest. Many projects were completed in or near desert riparian areas, while many others were completed on the dry North and South Rims of the park.

  • The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has published a new handbook for Habitat Restoration and Management of Native and Non-native Trees in Southwestern Riparian Ecosystems. This Handbook addresses wildlife use of non-native riparian habitats, including tamarisk, Russian olive, and Siberian elm. It also provides recommendations for restoration of riparian habitats following chemical, mechanical, and/or biological control of non-native trees. This handbook is available as an attachment to this email and will also be posted at http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/conservation/habitat-information/habitat... along with other guidelines for minimizing impacts of specific land use practices on wildlife and wildlife habitats.

  •  
     
    Overview:
     
    Our rivers are in crisis and the need for river restoration has never been more urgent. Water security and biodiversity indices for all of the world’s major rivers have declined due to pollution, diversions, impoundments, fragmented flows, introduced and invasive species, and many other abuses.
     
    Developing successful restoration responses are essential. Renewing Our Rivers addresses this need head-on with examples of how to design and implement stream-corridor restoration projects. Based on the experiences of seasoned professionals, Renewing Our Rivers provides stream restoration practitioners the main steps to develop successful and viable stream restoration projects that last. Ecologists, geomorphologists, and hydrologists from dryland regions of Australia, Mexico, and the United States share case studies and key lessons learned for successful restoration and renewal of our most vital resource.
     
    The aim of this guidebook is to offer essential restoration guidance that allows a start-to-finish overview of what it takes to bring back a damaged stream corridor. Chapters cover planning, such emerging themes as climate change and environmental flow, the nuances of implementing restoration tactics, and monitoring restoration results. Renewing Our Rivers provides community members, educators, students, natural resource practitioners, experts, and scientists broader perspectives on how to move the science of restoration to practical success.
     
  •  University of Arizona Press, Briggs, M.K. and W.R. Osterkamp. 2020
     
     
    This guidebook builds on what came before, developing it as both a guidance 'how to' as well as a reference. Where restoration topics are well-documented and well-traveled, we offer references. Where not, we offer detailed guidance on how to develop a stream restoration response start to finish.
     
  •  
     
     
    Riparian Assessments and Best Management Practices with Agriculturalists along the
    Lower Animas River
     
    Alyssa Richmond1*, Melissa May2
     
    1San Juan Watershed Group, Aztec, New Mexico, United States of America; sjwg@sanjuanswcd.com
    2San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District, Aztec, New Mexico, USA; melissa.may@sanjuanswcd.com
     
     
    The San Juan Watershed Group (SJWG) is composed of citizens and local agencies working to improve water quality in the San Juan River and its tributaries. In cooperation with the San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District (SJSWCD) and the Animas Watershed Partnership (AWP), the SJWG has prioritized nutrient enrichment and bacteria pollution as the most problematic water quality issues in the New Mexico portion of the Animas River Watershed via the Lower Animas Watershed Based Plan (LAWBP). While spearheading watershed-base planning, coordinating water quality research, and conducting education and outreach the Watershed Group works with landowners to identify, prioritize, develop, and implement agriculture and livestock best management practices (BMPs) that will filter nutrient and bacterial pollution to the watershed.  
     
    With the goal of identifying agricultural producers along the Lower Animas interested in implementing BMPs and conducting free riparian health assessments with these stakeholders, the SJWG co-hosted an Agricultural Best Management Practices workshop with RiversEdge West (REW), SJSWCD, and New Mexico State University San Juan County Extension Office in June of 2019. Titled “Water, Weeds, and Wildlife: Tools for Managing Your Riverside Property,” the workshop covered topics from weed management to riparian pasture management and offered an avenue for several landowners to request further consultation. In the upcoming spring, free riparian health assessments will be conducted following the Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS) Visual Riparian Assessment Tool (VRAT) by the SJWG and REW. The SJWG will work with these landowners to develop projects based on these assessments and to plan future BMP projects that can be included in the LAWBP.
     
    With this opportunity to share the current outcomes and future endeavors of this BMP outreach campaign and VRAT utilization, the SJWG anticipates familiarizing fellow restoration specialists on the organization’s endeavors and feedback from landowners. Agricultural producers are some of the most valuable stakeholders to engage with for the implementation of BMP projects, and their insights, desires, and recommendations will be shared with the riparian restoration community.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
  • This list of chemical weed mix recommendations was produced by Weld County, Colorado.

  • Authors: Anna A. Shera, Hisham El Waera, Eduardo Gonzáleza,b, Robert Andersona, Annie L. Henrya, Robert Biedrona, PengPeng Yuea

    This report includes a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the vegetation response to a single watershed-scale restoration effort that includes 40 sites along the Dolores River from 2010-2014.

  • The U.S. Geological Survey’s Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center convened a workshop June 23-25, 2015, in Flagstaff, Ariz. for practitioners in restoration science to share general principles, successful restoration practices, and discuss the challenges that face those practicing riparian restoration in the southwestern United States. Presenters from the Colorado River and the Rio Grande basins, offered their perspectives and experiences in restoration at the local, reach and watershed scale. Outcomes of the workshop include this Proceedings volume, which is composed of extended abstracts of most of the presentations given at the workshop, and recommendations or information needs identified by participants. The organization of the Proceedings follows a general progression from local scale restoration to river and watershed scale approaches, and finishes with restoration assessments and monitoring.
     

Revegetation - Other

  •  
     
     
    Evaluating Sod Mats as an Alternative to Plugs in Wetland Revegetation
     
    Susan Sherrod1*
     
    1Biohabitats, Denver, CO, USA; ssherrod@biohabitats.com
     
    The City of Fort Collins (CO) Natural Areas Department used custom-grown wetland sod mats largely in place of herbaceous plugs to revegetate a newly constructed wetland at Gadwall Pond (Kingfisher Point Natural Area). Wetland sod mats are constructed from two layers of coconut fiber matting as a growth substrate for herbaceous wetland plants. The hypotheses underlying the preferential use of sod mats for revegetation at Gadwall Pond was that the mat-rooted vegetation would be more resistant to herbivory than plugs, which are easily pulled out by waterfowl, and the higher cost per unit area would be offset by more efficient installation, faster establishment from higher growth rates, and no need for protective fencing. Moreover, the City had locally collected seed that could be used for the custom grow and ensured that the mats would represent local ecotypes. Seed from graminoids and forbs was delivered, processed, and grown over the course of ~9 months. Forb mats were experimental. All mats were delivered and installed in the late summer of 2018. Within a few days of installation, it was clear that wetland sod mats cannot withstand the high herbivory pressure at Gadwall Pond. Even the coconut fiber matting was torn apart in some areas. Protective fencing was quickly installed to protect the vegetation. The sod mats have cost more than installing plugs over the same area, but advantages in establishment success and near-term biomass gains are still being evaluated. 
     
     
     
  • 2018 Dolores River Restoration Partnership Annual Report 

  •  
     
     
    Local Southwest Utah Partnership Engages Youth to Mitigate Flood Damage, Control Invasive Species, and Restore Native Habitat
     
    Wesley Pickett1*, Ian Torrence2, Aaron Wilson3
     
    1American Conservation Experience, Hurricane, UT, USA; wpickett@usaconservation.org
    2American Conservation Experience, Flagstaff, AZ, USA; itorrence@usaconservation.org
    3American Conservation Experience, Hurricane, UT, USA; awilson@usaconservation.org
     
     
    American Conservation Experience (ACE), a non-profit service organization, provides its young and diverse members with career-building opportunities in the field of restoration through education and hands-on experience. Facilitation of member growth comes partly through the organization's commitment to partners with like-minded federal, state, local, and non-profit land agencies and organizations that assist with member guidance and mentorship. Since the fall of 2014, ACE crews, based out of Hurricane, Utah, worked in conjunction with the Washington County Flood Control Authority (WCFCA). In August of 2012 Washington County, the City of St. George, Washington City, and Santa Clara City entered into an inter-local agency cooperative agreement establishing the Washington County Flood Control Authority.  The purpose of the Flood Control Authority (FCA) is to better share management, administration, and cost responsibilities for regional stormwater drainage and flood control concerns that cross common community boundaries. Projects that were completed under WCFCA guidance engaged youth crews in restoring riparian ecosystems around the Virgin and Santa Clara Rivers while protecting residential and commercial infrastructure in Washington County from potentially future devastating flooding events.
     
    Crews surveyed for salt cedar (Tamarix spp.), Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), giant reed (Arundo donax), flood debris piles, and damaged infrastructure (like gabion baskets and bridges). This work provided the WCFCA data on areas of infrastructural concern and highlighted priority areas for invasive species removal. ACE crews controlled salt cedar, Russian olive, and giant reed along the riparian corridors of the Virgin and Santa Clara Rivers by mechanical and chemical means. Additionally, along the Santa Clara River, ACE crews revegetated with native plant species in an area that was once clogged with vegetation and beaver dams and was previously at risk for flooding during high water events.
     
    Through monitoring, invasive plant control, and planting native species, ACE’s members played a critical role in the long term ecological restoration in Washington County’s Virgin and Santa Clara River corridors. Completing this work, in partnership with a local organization, advanced members’ restoration experience, knowledge, and skills through hands-on career-building opportunities. This poster will demonstrate how meaningful partnerships provide youth from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to engage in successful restoration projects and connect invasive plant management in a wilderness setting to an urban landscape.
     
     
     
     
  • Authors: Anna A. Shera, Hisham El Waera, Eduardo Gonzáleza,b, Robert Andersona, Annie L. Henrya, Robert Biedrona, PengPeng Yuea

    This report includes a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the vegetation response to a single watershed-scale restoration effort that includes 40 sites along the Dolores River from 2010-2014.

  • Authors:
    Kent R. Mosher, Heather L. Bateman
     
    Abstract:
    Amphibians and reptiles (herpetofauna) have been linked to specific microhabitat characteristics, microclimates, and water resources in riparian forests. Our objective was to relate variation in herpetofauna abundance to changes in habitat caused by a beetle used for Tamarix biocontrol (Diorhabda carinulata; Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and riparian restoration. During 2013 and 2014, we measured vegetation and monitored herpetofauna via trapping and visual encounter surveys (VES) at locations affected by biocontrol along the Virgin River in the Mojave Desert of the southwestern United States. Twenty-one sites were divided into four riparian stand types based on density and percent cover of dominant trees (Tamarix, Prosopis, Populus, and Salix) and presence or absence of restoration. Restoration activities consisted of mechanically removing non-native trees, transplanting native trees, and restoring hydrologic flows. Restored sites had three times more total lizard and eight times more yellow-backed spiny lizard (Sceloporus uniformis) captures than other stand types. Woodhouse’s toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii) captures were greatest in unrestored and restored Tam-Pop/Sal sites. Results from VES indicated that herpetofauna abundance was greatest in the restored Tam-Pop/Sal site compared with the adjacent unrestored Tam-Pop/Sal site. Tam sites were characterized by having high Tamarix cover, percent canopy cover, and shade. Restored Tam-Pop/Sal sites were most similar in habitat to Tam-Pop/Sal sites. Two species of herpetofauna (spiny lizard and toad) were found to prefer habitat components characteristic of restored Tam-Pop/Sal sites. Restored sites likely supported higher abundances of these species because restoration activities reduced canopy cover, increased native tree density, and restored surface water.

RiversEdge West's

mission is to advance the restoration of riparian lands through collaboration, education, and technical assistance.

Donate