Saturday, August 27 Full-Day Concurrent Field Tours
Restoration Responsibilities and Actions for Recovery of Fisheries and Watersheds in the Usal Redwood Forest of the Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. (RFFI)
Tour Coordinators: Richard Gienger, RFFI, and Tom Leroy, Pacific Watershed Associates
This full-day tour will visit key instream and upslope restoration sites: completed, in-progess, and planned in both the South Fork Eel River tributaries and Usal Creek in the RFFI Usal Redwood Forest. Attendees will travel to a typically depleted and heavily impacted North Coast forest that RFFI is trying to bring back to a high-standard of stewardship that integrates and benefits surrounding communities for the long-term. RFFI completed a Coho Recovery Plan for the South Fork Eel tributaries, and is beginning a plan for the Usal Creek watershed. Implementation of these plans is both ongoing and projected into the future. Key partners include, but are not limited to, Pacific Watershed Associates (PWA), California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW), Trout Unlimited (TU), Eel River Watershed Improvement Group (ERWIG), the Wildlife Conservation Board, and CalFire.
An Evolution of Large Wood Augmentation—A Synopsis of Techniques for Implementation and Validation Monitoring
Tour Coordinators: Anna Halligan and Lisa Bolton, Trout Unlimited; Sean Gallagher, CDFW; Dave Wright, The Nature Conservancy; and Chris Blencowe, Blencowe Watershed Management
Trout Unlimited and their partners will lead this full day tour throughout both private and state commercial timberlands within the Pudding Creek and Noyo River basins. On this tour participants will visit the project area for the “Using Large Wood to Increase Salmon Abundance in Pudding Creek: A BACI Experiment” and learn about the methodology for large wood treatment and the effectiveness and validation monitoring that has followed. From there the tour will visit multiple sites along the Little North Fork Noyo, the South Fork Noyo River and two of its tributaries to view previously constructed large wood projects that relied on both soft and hard anchoring implementation techniques. Potential discussion topics may include, “How much wood is good?”, “What is the best tool within the toolbox for my project?”, and “How do we know it will work?”
Sunday, August 28 Concurrent Field Tours
Downstream/Upstream -- Working Together to Restore Coho Habitat in Neefus Gulch
Tour Coordinators: Patty Madigan, Mendocino Resource Conservation District, and Kirk Vodopals, Rancho Navarro
Neefus Gulch is a small tributary of the North Fork Navarro River that traverses private timber, rural subdivision, and a former Boy Scout camp property. Our tour will focus on recent projects, including a large wood installation, on MRC land and Camp Navarro--as well as a discussion regarding a recently funded feasibility study to upgrade a culverted stream crossing and restoring upstream habitat above an instream dam within Rancho Navarro, a rural subdivision with approximately 100 ownerships. Project partners include the landowners, PWA, Mike Love, Trout Unlimited, NRCS, and the Mendocino County RCD.
Large Wood Installation at Two Log Creek on the Big River Property
Tour Coordinators: Hollly Newberger, The Conservation Fund, and Chris Blencowe, Blencowe Watershed Management
Tour participants will travel to Two Log Creek, a tributary to Big River in coastal Mendocino County, to see a large wood debris project. The project reach begins at the confluence with the mainstem Big River and continues approximately 2.4 miles upstream. The entire Two Log Creek Large Woody Debris Project is located on private timberland, owned and managed by The Conservation Fund (TCF) and Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC). The project is modeled on the “accelerated recruitment” methodology, a cost-effective approach that has proven successful in improving fish habitat in several coastal Mendocino and Sonoma County streams. The goal of this approach is to effectively accelerate the recruitment of large wood in ways that mimic the natural recruitment process as closely as possible. Implementation of the Two Log Creek Large Woody Debris Project took place in July 2013. A total of 168 pieces of large woody debris (LWD) were placed in the active channel at 107 unique sites dispersed throughout the project reach.
Fish Passage Upgrades on Historical Logging Roads
Tour Coordinators: Lisa Bolton, Trout Unlimited, and Doug Kern, Mendocino Land Trust
The Noyo River watershed contains miles of historically important anadromous streams. The majority of the watershed is composed of private and state owned industrial timberland. The watershed has experienced several cycles of timber harvesting beginning in the late 1800s and early 1900's. Logging of second growth trees in the Noyo River basin began in the 1960s and continues today. In recent years, the Noyo River has been recognized as an impaired water body because of its high sediment loads. The watershed contains a network of maintained and abandoned roads and many stream crossings and small dams are causing fish passage impairment as well as erosion and sedimentation into streams. This half day tour will be held primarily on Jackson Demonstration State Forest (JDSF) Land within the James Creek and Parlin Creek watershed. Participants will be able to tour completed culvert upgrade and small dam removal projects.
We will visit two dams removed at Parlin Creek Conservation Camp in December 2014 and see yet another that is being planned for removal. At James Creek we will have the opportunity to visit the site of a very large culvert removal project that was the #1 fish barrier on JDSF, since restored to natural terrain. We will also visit the site of a small waterfall that has been exacerbated by the impingement of HWY 20 construction in the 1960s. We will visit the waterfall, and look at the plans that will allow adult coho passage through the installation of eight step pools. Note that this site requires some trail walking and rock hopping to access the waterfall area.