Friday, July 12, 2013

Riparian Restoration Quandary

Plants along rivers face a basic quandary: the closer to the channel they grow, the more water they have.  But, closer to the channel, there is more disturbance from flooding.

  • Is this a healthy/unhealthy stream bank?
  • Is it in need of restoration?

It has:
  • invasive species
  • sparse vegetation
  • obviously eroding banks....

It might be important to ask: What is bankfull here? 

It might also be important to know that this is actually a dry wash, photographed after the first rain in 9 looks grazed, and it is grazed.  By a herd of native Elk, forced out of the uplands by the worst drought in 50 years.

We have to be careful to set our ecological expectations to the history of natural disturbance and the reality of a changing climate.

No comments: