Salmonid Restoration Federation
31 March - 3 April, 2020
Santa Cruz, California

Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration with Beaver and Wood: Jump-Starting Structurally Starved Streams

01 April 2020
9:00am - 5:00pm

Workshop Coordinators:
Eli Asarian, Riverbend Sciences
Elijah Portugal, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Joseph Wheaton, Utah State University

The scale and severity of river impairment globally cannot be meaningfully addressed solely using traditional hard-engineering restoration approaches. This workshop will be an opportunity to share recent developments in the evolving science and practice of low-tech process-based restoration (LT-PBR) of riverscapes. LT-PBR is the practice of adding low unit-cost wood and beaver dams to riverscapes to mimic functions and initiate specific processes that improve river habitats. Dr. Joseph Wheaton (Utah State University) will lead the morning portion of the workshop, providing an introduction to the LT-PBR restoration approach and case-study examples from recent and ongoing LT-PBR projects primarily from outside of California. Afternoon presentations by scientists and practitioners will explore: 

  • Effects of LT-PBR on geomorphology, hydrology, hydraulics, habitat, water quality salmonids, and other organisms
  • Updated case studies from restoration projects using beavers and wood
  • Models and tools for prioritizing LT-PBR site selection
  • Restoration implementation lessons learned
  • Pathways for permitting LT-PBR projects and managing beavers in California

Following the afternoon presentations, there will be a panel/group discussion.

Introduction to the Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration of Riverscapes Design Manual
Joe Wheaton, Utah State University

Temperature, Hydrological and Fish-Passage Impacts of beaver-based stream restoration: Hypotheses, Models and Data and the Way Forward with Low Tech Process Based Restoration
Chris Jordan, NOAA/NMFS/Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Riparian Vegetation and Stream Channel Response to Meadow Restoration using Synthetic Beaver Dams in Childs Meadow, California
Kristen Wilson, The Nature Conservancy

California’s First Beaver Dam Analogues (BDAs) - What Half a Decade Has Taught Us
Charnna Gilmore, Scott River Watershed Council 

Four Years of Process-based Restoration at Doty Ravine
Damion Ciotti, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Shinn Ranch: PBR the hard way
Kevin Swift, Swift Water Design

Beaver Dam Analog Design, Construction, and Performance on the Trinity River California
John Bair, McBain Associates

Beaver Restoration Planning and Implementation in California: Tools and Case Studies
Kate Lundquist, Occidental Arts and Ecology Center WATER Institute

Beaver (Castor Canadensis) of the Salinas River: A Human Dimensions-Inclusive Overview for Assessing Landscape-Scale Beaver-Assisted Restoration Opportunities
Stuart Suplik, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo – Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences Dept.

Panel/group discussion