Large Wood and Off-Channel Habitat Projects in Western Sonoma
Field Tour Coordinators:
John Green, Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District
Chris Blencowe, Blencowe Watershed Management
Lauren Hammack, Prunuske Chatham, Inc.
The absence of naturally recruited wood in stream channels has resulted in simplified stream channels and degraded habitat in salmonid watersheds throughout the Pacific region. Wood has historically been removed from streams because of fear of bank erosion and flooding, or through “stream cleaning,” riparian forest clearing, and other management practices. Over the past couple of decades, the placement of large wood in stream channels has been widely used to provide for channel and habitat complexity until natural wood recruitment occurs. Large wood placement in different settings requires a variety of approaches, ranging from unanchored logs and trees to engineered wood structures with substantial anchoring. On this tour we will visit project sites in western Sonoma County where different methods have been used to return large wood to stream channels, and discuss the effectiveness, feasibility, advantages and disadvantages of each method, as well as their relative cost in various settings.