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Riparian Restoration Practices

Site Assessments & Mapping

  • This 2008 report summarizes an inventory of tamarisk and Russian olive infestations on all the major rivers and their main tributaries in Colorado. The report  was completed by the Tamarisk Coalition for the Colorado Water Conservation Board. The purpose of this work was to 1) establish and implement an inventory protocol that would be economical to perform, 2) provide a relatively accurate understanding of the extent of the tamarisk problem in Colorado, 3) develop water and wildlife habitat impacts, and 4) estimate the cost of restoration.

  • In an effort to proactively protect water quality, Colorado has implemented Best Management Practices (BMPs) for forestry activities. BMPs are a set of water-quality protection measures and guidelines that provide direction on planning, roads, Streamside Management Zones (SMZs), timber harvesting, pesticides and fertilizers, stream crossings and fire management.  
     
    In September 2012, an interdisciplinary team visited six timber-harvest sites in southwest Colorado to assess Colorado forestry BMP application and effectiveness. Each site was evaluated on planning, roads, SMZs, timber harvesting, hazardous substances, stream crossings and fire management, according to written criteria in the Field Audit Rating Guide.
  • The Santa Cruz River and other riparian areas in the watershed have long been the backbone of the region’s natural and cultural heritage. This rich history is highlighted in the State of the Santa Cruz River.
     
    The companion document, State of the Santa Cruz River – Conservation Inventory, aims to acknowledge the numerous conservation efforts underway throughout the region that promote watershed health as well as protect and restore the river. Understanding the “who”, “what”, and “where” of conservation efforts is crucial to fostering collaboration and ensuring long-term conservation success. Recognizing conservation priorities is also vital to success. 
  • This website enables users to use search functions to identify unknown weed species. 

  • This 57-page guide from the Salt Lake County Watershed Planning & Restoration Program  explores the basics of protecting water quality, streamside habitat, and property values. While written for the Salt Lake area, the information contained in this guide is applicable to a wide range of landowners. 

    In this guide you’ll find out how you and your neighbors can:

    • Prevent or minimize erosion problems
    • Avoid flood losses
    • Protect property values
    • Preserve water quality
    • Contribute to the survival of fish and wildlife
  • Rapid Monitoring Protocol used in the DRRP

  • The purpose of the Stream Stewardship and Recovery Handbook is to create an educational resource for private landowners to better understand their streamside properties in the context of the larger watershed, what they can do to practice good stream stewardship and when/how they should engage outside help for stewardship or recovery projects.

  • 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. 
  • Vegetation response to invasive Tamarix control in southwestern U.S. rivers: a collaborative study including 416 sites

    Gonzalez et al. 2017

    Most studies assessing vegetation response following control of invasive Tamarix trees along southwestern U.S. rivers have been small in scale (e.g., river reach), or at a regional scale but with poor spatial-temporal replication, and most have not included testing the effects of a now widely used biological control. We monitored plant composition following Tamarix control along hydrologic, soil, and climatic gradients in 244 treated and 172 reference sites across six U.S. states. This represents the largest comprehensive assessment to date on the vegetation response to the four most common Tamarix control treatments. Biocontrol by a defoliating beetle (treatment 1) reduced the abundance of Tamarix  less than active removal by mechanically using hand and chain-saws (2), heavy machinery (3) or burning (4). Tamarix abundance also decreased with lower temperatures, higher precipitation, and follow-up treatments or Tamarix  resprouting. Native cover generally increased over time in active Tamarix removal sites, however, the increases observed were small and was not consistently increased by active revegetation. Overall, native cover was correlated to permanent stream flow, lower grazing pressure, lower soil salinity and temperatures, and higher precipitation. Species diversity also increased where Tamarix was removed. However, Tamarix treatments, especially those generating the highest disturbance (burning and heavy machinery), also often promoted secondary invasions of exotic forbs. The abundance of hydrophytic species was much lower in treated than in reference sites, suggesting that management of southwestern U.S. rivers has focused too much on weed control, overlooking restoration of fluvial processes that provide habitat for hydrophytic and floodplain vegetation. These results can help inform future management of Tamarix-infested rivers to restore hydrogeomorphic processes, increase native biodiversity and reduce abundance of noxious species.

    Key words: Diorhabda; exotic species control; management

  • 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.

  • Using high-resolution  multitemporal, multispectral data, the authors classified tamarisk defoliation in the Glen Canyon area in Arizona. The high spatial resolution classification provides key information to effectively inform restoration treatments regarding where and how much mechanical removal or controlled burning could be performed. Furthermore, the defoliated tamarisk classification can help understand the site-specific and spatially-variable relationship between tamarisk and the tamarisk beetle at this critical state when their interactions are still developing and currently unknown. 

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.

  •  
    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.

  • Vegetation response to invasive Tamarix control in southwestern U.S. rivers: a collaborative study including 416 sites

    Gonzalez et al. 2017

    Most studies assessing vegetation response following control of invasive Tamarix trees along southwestern U.S. rivers have been small in scale (e.g., river reach), or at a regional scale but with poor spatial-temporal replication, and most have not included testing the effects of a now widely used biological control. We monitored plant composition following Tamarix control along hydrologic, soil, and climatic gradients in 244 treated and 172 reference sites across six U.S. states. This represents the largest comprehensive assessment to date on the vegetation response to the four most common Tamarix control treatments. Biocontrol by a defoliating beetle (treatment 1) reduced the abundance of Tamarix  less than active removal by mechanically using hand and chain-saws (2), heavy machinery (3) or burning (4). Tamarix abundance also decreased with lower temperatures, higher precipitation, and follow-up treatments or Tamarix  resprouting. Native cover generally increased over time in active Tamarix removal sites, however, the increases observed were small and was not consistently increased by active revegetation. Overall, native cover was correlated to permanent stream flow, lower grazing pressure, lower soil salinity and temperatures, and higher precipitation. Species diversity also increased where Tamarix was removed. However, Tamarix treatments, especially those generating the highest disturbance (burning and heavy machinery), also often promoted secondary invasions of exotic forbs. The abundance of hydrophytic species was much lower in treated than in reference sites, suggesting that management of southwestern U.S. rivers has focused too much on weed control, overlooking restoration of fluvial processes that provide habitat for hydrophytic and floodplain vegetation. These results can help inform future management of Tamarix-infested rivers to restore hydrogeomorphic processes, increase native biodiversity and reduce abundance of noxious species.

    Key words: Diorhabda; exotic species control; management

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • Gonzalez et al. 2017

    Abstract: Control of invasive species within ecosystems may induce secondary invasions of non-target invaders replacing the first alien. We used four plant species listed as noxious by local authorities in riparian systems to discern whether 1) the severity of these secondary invasions was related to the control method applied to the first alien; and 2) which species that were secondary invaders persisted over time. In a collaborative study by 16 research institutions, we monitored plant species composition following control of non-native Tamarix trees alongsouthwestern U.S. rivers using defoliation by an introduced biocontrol  beetle, and three physical removal methods: mechanical using saws, heavy machinery, and burning in 244 treated and 79 untreated sites across six U.S. states. Physical removal favored secondary invasions immediately after Tamarix removal (0–3 yrs.), while in the biocontrol treatment, secondary invasions manifested later (> 5 yrs.). Within this general trend, the response of weeds to control was idiosyncratic; dependent on treatment type and invader. Two annual tumbleweeds that only reproduce by seed (Bassia scoparia and Salsola tragus) peaked immediately after physical Tamarix removal and persisted over time, even after herbicide application. Acroptilon repens, a perennial forb that vigorously reproduces by rhizomes, and Bromus tectorum, a very frequent annual grass before removal that only reproduces by seed, were most successful at biocontrol sites, and progressively spread as the canopy layer opened. These results demonstrate that strategies to control Tamarix affect secondary invasions differently among species and that time since disturbance is an important, generally overlooked, factor affecting response.

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

  • Gonzalez et al. 2018

    Human activities on floodplains have severely disrupted the regeneration of foundation riparian shrub and tree species of the Salicaceae family (Populus and Salix spp.) throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Restoration ecologists initially tackled this problem from a terrestrial perspective that emphasized planting. More recently, floodplain restoration activities have embraced an aquatic perspective, inspired by the expanding practice of managing river flows to improve river health (environmental flows). However, riparian Salicaceae species occupy floodplain and riparian areas, which lie at the interface of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems along watercourses. Thus, their regeneration depends on a complex interaction of hydrologic and geomorphic processes that have shaped key life-cycle requirements for seedling establishment. Ultimately, restoration needs to integrate these concepts to succeed. However, while regeneration of Salicaceae is now reasonably well-understood, the literature reporting restoration actions on Salicaceae regeneration is sparse, and a specific theoretical framework is still missing. Here, we have reviewed 105 peer-reviewed published experiences in restoration of Salicaceae forests, including 91 projects in 10 world regions, to construct a decision tree to inform restoration planning through explicit links between the well-studied biophysical requirements of Salicaceae regeneration and 17 specific restoration actions, the most popular being planting (in 55% of the projects), land contouring (30%), removal of competing vegetation (30%), site selection (26%), and irrigation (24%). We also identified research gaps related to Salicaceae forest restoration and discuss alternative, innovative and feasible approaches that incorporate the human component.

Sustaining or Improving Flows

  • Matt Grabau with the Sonoran Institute presents Modeling Shallow Groundwater for Support of Riparian Areas in the Colorado River Delta at TC's 2016 Conference.

  • Chris Sturm, Colorado Water Conservation Board, presents on Flood Recovery Update from the Colorado Water Conservation Board at the 2016 Conference.
  • Karen Schlatter gives an Update on The Vegetation Response to Environmental Flows and Restoration Treatments in the Colorado River Delta at TC's 2016 Annual Conference. 

  • Vegetation response to invasive Tamarix control in southwestern U.S. rivers: a collaborative study including 416 sites

    Gonzalez et al. 2017

    Most studies assessing vegetation response following control of invasive Tamarix trees along southwestern U.S. rivers have been small in scale (e.g., river reach), or at a regional scale but with poor spatial-temporal replication, and most have not included testing the effects of a now widely used biological control. We monitored plant composition following Tamarix control along hydrologic, soil, and climatic gradients in 244 treated and 172 reference sites across six U.S. states. This represents the largest comprehensive assessment to date on the vegetation response to the four most common Tamarix control treatments. Biocontrol by a defoliating beetle (treatment 1) reduced the abundance of Tamarix  less than active removal by mechanically using hand and chain-saws (2), heavy machinery (3) or burning (4). Tamarix abundance also decreased with lower temperatures, higher precipitation, and follow-up treatments or Tamarix  resprouting. Native cover generally increased over time in active Tamarix removal sites, however, the increases observed were small and was not consistently increased by active revegetation. Overall, native cover was correlated to permanent stream flow, lower grazing pressure, lower soil salinity and temperatures, and higher precipitation. Species diversity also increased where Tamarix was removed. However, Tamarix treatments, especially those generating the highest disturbance (burning and heavy machinery), also often promoted secondary invasions of exotic forbs. The abundance of hydrophytic species was much lower in treated than in reference sites, suggesting that management of southwestern U.S. rivers has focused too much on weed control, overlooking restoration of fluvial processes that provide habitat for hydrophytic and floodplain vegetation. These results can help inform future management of Tamarix-infested rivers to restore hydrogeomorphic processes, increase native biodiversity and reduce abundance of noxious species.

    Key words: Diorhabda; exotic species control; management

  • This science module will introduce you to the concepts of water budgets, environmental flows, and water security and provide instruction on using tools that are now available online. River Network assembled already available resources from their partners in the field of ample water, and produced new material to help weave together these concepts and introduce new resources.
     
    The segments may be watched individually but are intended to be watched in sequence so they may build upon each other for greatest understanding.  After watching the module, if you have any questions about the material, or are interested in learning more about how you might see these types of projects pursued in your watershed, please feel free to contact River Network's Science Manager, Adam Griggs. You may also access the videos on the Youtube channel here.
  • Gonzalez et al. 2018

    Human activities on floodplains have severely disrupted the regeneration of foundation riparian shrub and tree species of the Salicaceae family (Populus and Salix spp.) throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Restoration ecologists initially tackled this problem from a terrestrial perspective that emphasized planting. More recently, floodplain restoration activities have embraced an aquatic perspective, inspired by the expanding practice of managing river flows to improve river health (environmental flows). However, riparian Salicaceae species occupy floodplain and riparian areas, which lie at the interface of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems along watercourses. Thus, their regeneration depends on a complex interaction of hydrologic and geomorphic processes that have shaped key life-cycle requirements for seedling establishment. Ultimately, restoration needs to integrate these concepts to succeed. However, while regeneration of Salicaceae is now reasonably well-understood, the literature reporting restoration actions on Salicaceae regeneration is sparse, and a specific theoretical framework is still missing. Here, we have reviewed 105 peer-reviewed published experiences in restoration of Salicaceae forests, including 91 projects in 10 world regions, to construct a decision tree to inform restoration planning through explicit links between the well-studied biophysical requirements of Salicaceae regeneration and 17 specific restoration actions, the most popular being planting (in 55% of the projects), land contouring (30%), removal of competing vegetation (30%), site selection (26%), and irrigation (24%). We also identified research gaps related to Salicaceae forest restoration and discuss alternative, innovative and feasible approaches that incorporate the human component.

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. 

  • 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.

     
     
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    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. 

  • Christie et al. 2020

    Building trust in science and evidence-based decision-making depends heavily on the credibility of studies and their findings. Researchers employ many different study designs that vary in their risk of bias to evaluate the true effect of interventions or impacts. Here, we empirically quantify, on a large scale, the prevalence of different study designs and the magnitude of bias in their estimates. Randomised designs and controlled observational designs with pre intervention sampling were used by just 23% of intervention studies in biodiversity conservation, and 36% of intervention studies in social science. We demonstrate, through pairwise within-study comparisons across 49 environmental datasets, that these types of designs usually give less biased estimates than simpler observational designs. We propose a model-based approach to combine study estimates that may suffer from different levels of study design bias, discuss the implications for evidence synthesis, and how to facilitate the use of more credible study designs.

  • 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.
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    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 

  • 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.

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.   
  • 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.

  • Gonzalez et al. 2015

    This paper reports on the comparison of seed dispersal patterns, germinability, longevity, and establishment between 3 dominant European riparian tree species.

  •  
     
    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.
     
  • AL Henry et al. 2021

    Abstract: Invasive species are a major cause of biodiversity loss worldwide, but their impact on communities and the mechanisms driving those impacts are varied and not well understood. This study employs functional diversity metrics and guilds—suites of species with similar traits—to assess the influence of an invasive tree (Tamarix spp.) on riparian plant communities in the southwestern United States. We asked: (1) What traits define riparian plant guilds in this system? (2) How do the abundances of guilds vary along gradients of Tamarix cover and abiotic conditions? (3) How does the functional diversity of the plant community respond to the gradients of Tamarix cover and abiotic conditions? We found nine distinct guilds primarily defined by reproductive strategy, as well as growth form, height, seed weight, specific leaf area, drought and anaerobic tolerance. Guild abundance varied along a covarying gradient of local and regional environmental factors and Tamarix cover. Guilds relying on sexual reproduction, in particular, those producing many light seeds over a long period of time were more strongly associated with drier sites and higher Tamarix cover. Tamarix itself appeared to facilitate more shade-tolerant species with higher specific leaf areas than would be expected in resource-poor environments. Additionally, we found a high degree of specialization (low functional diversity) in the wettest, most flood-prone, lowest Tamarix  cover sites as well as in the driest, most stable, highest Tamarix cover sites. These guilds can be used to anticipate plant community response to restoration efforts and in selecting appropriate species for revegetation.

  • Gonzalez et al. 2018

    Human activities on floodplains have severely disrupted the regeneration of foundation riparian shrub and tree species of the Salicaceae family (Populus and Salix spp.) throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Restoration ecologists initially tackled this problem from a terrestrial perspective that emphasized planting. More recently, floodplain restoration activities have embraced an aquatic perspective, inspired by the expanding practice of managing river flows to improve river health (environmental flows). However, riparian Salicaceae species occupy floodplain and riparian areas, which lie at the interface of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems along watercourses. Thus, their regeneration depends on a complex interaction of hydrologic and geomorphic processes that have shaped key life-cycle requirements for seedling establishment. Ultimately, restoration needs to integrate these concepts to succeed. However, while regeneration of Salicaceae is now reasonably well-understood, the literature reporting restoration actions on Salicaceae regeneration is sparse, and a specific theoretical framework is still missing. Here, we have reviewed 105 peer-reviewed published experiences in restoration of Salicaceae forests, including 91 projects in 10 world regions, to construct a decision tree to inform restoration planning through explicit links between the well-studied biophysical requirements of Salicaceae regeneration and 17 specific restoration actions, the most popular being planting (in 55% of the projects), land contouring (30%), removal of competing vegetation (30%), site selection (26%), and irrigation (24%). We also identified research gaps related to Salicaceae forest restoration and discuss alternative, innovative and feasible approaches that incorporate the human component.

  •  
     
    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.

Revegetation - Other

  • 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.
  • Gonzalez et al. 2015

    This paper reports on the comparison of seed dispersal patterns, germinability, longevity, and establishment between 3 dominant European riparian tree species.

  •  
     
     
    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 

  • AL Henry et al. 2021

    Abstract: Invasive species are a major cause of biodiversity loss worldwide, but their impact on communities and the mechanisms driving those impacts are varied and not well understood. This study employs functional diversity metrics and guilds—suites of species with similar traits—to assess the influence of an invasive tree (Tamarix spp.) on riparian plant communities in the southwestern United States. We asked: (1) What traits define riparian plant guilds in this system? (2) How do the abundances of guilds vary along gradients of Tamarix cover and abiotic conditions? (3) How does the functional diversity of the plant community respond to the gradients of Tamarix cover and abiotic conditions? We found nine distinct guilds primarily defined by reproductive strategy, as well as growth form, height, seed weight, specific leaf area, drought and anaerobic tolerance. Guild abundance varied along a covarying gradient of local and regional environmental factors and Tamarix cover. Guilds relying on sexual reproduction, in particular, those producing many light seeds over a long period of time were more strongly associated with drier sites and higher Tamarix cover. Tamarix itself appeared to facilitate more shade-tolerant species with higher specific leaf areas than would be expected in resource-poor environments. Additionally, we found a high degree of specialization (low functional diversity) in the wettest, most flood-prone, lowest Tamarix  cover sites as well as in the driest, most stable, highest Tamarix cover sites. These guilds can be used to anticipate plant community response to restoration efforts and in selecting appropriate species for revegetation.

  • Gonzalez et al. 2018

    Human activities on floodplains have severely disrupted the regeneration of foundation riparian shrub and tree species of the Salicaceae family (Populus and Salix spp.) throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Restoration ecologists initially tackled this problem from a terrestrial perspective that emphasized planting. More recently, floodplain restoration activities have embraced an aquatic perspective, inspired by the expanding practice of managing river flows to improve river health (environmental flows). However, riparian Salicaceae species occupy floodplain and riparian areas, which lie at the interface of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems along watercourses. Thus, their regeneration depends on a complex interaction of hydrologic and geomorphic processes that have shaped key life-cycle requirements for seedling establishment. Ultimately, restoration needs to integrate these concepts to succeed. However, while regeneration of Salicaceae is now reasonably well-understood, the literature reporting restoration actions on Salicaceae regeneration is sparse, and a specific theoretical framework is still missing. Here, we have reviewed 105 peer-reviewed published experiences in restoration of Salicaceae forests, including 91 projects in 10 world regions, to construct a decision tree to inform restoration planning through explicit links between the well-studied biophysical requirements of Salicaceae regeneration and 17 specific restoration actions, the most popular being planting (in 55% of the projects), land contouring (30%), removal of competing vegetation (30%), site selection (26%), and irrigation (24%). We also identified research gaps related to Salicaceae forest restoration and discuss alternative, innovative and feasible approaches that incorporate the human component.

  •  
     
     
    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.
     
     
     
     

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