Monday, May 04, 2009

RSRA: Cebolla Creek Restoration Project

For more information on RSRA's.

RSRA note: we counted all restoration features as if they were natural. For example, recently planted willow were counted as the dominant shrub, in-stream structures were counted as scour pools and riffles, and even supplied the cobble for macroinvertebrates to live under. Because this system is so heavily impacted by erosion, it is unclear which, if any, of these features could be expected to occur under a natural hydrogeomorphology. For example, the valley alluvium may not normally supply cobble for riffles and macroinvertebrate habitat.

Bedrock helps bring subsurface flow to the surface in this area throughout the year, although the stream is spatially intermittent through this reach. The creek is cutting a new floodplain at the bottom of a canyon that has incised through the historic floodplain, and we used the new floodplain to measure hydrogeomorphology because the historic floodplain has been abandoned. This system is currently heavily impacted by grazing, yet, ironically, does not support excessive algae. Perhaps the water is too often disturbed? There are some willows, but they do not shade the stream. Beaver have been recently reintroduced, but they are not doing well in the complete absence of any kind of trees. All

Water Quality: 5,3 = 4
Hydrogeomorphology: 3,5,3,1,3 = 3
Fish Aquatic Habitat: 2,1,N/A,1,1,2 = 1.4
Riparian Vegetation: 1,1,2,1,2,2,1,1 = 1.375
Terrestrial / Wildlife Habitat: 3,1,1,1 = 1.5

Average of averages: 2.255

Selected species list:

Atriplex canescens (Fourwing Saltbush)
Artemesia tridentata (Big Sagebrush)
Fallugia paradoxa (Apache Plume)
Forestiera neomexicana (New Mexico Olive or Privet)
Rosa woodsii (Woods Rose)
Salix exigua (Coyote Willow)
Tamarix spp. (Salt Cedar).

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