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Respect the River/Rio — Resource Managers

Restoration

Resource managers are often faced with the dilemma of meeting the needs of recreationists and the needs of natural resources in riparian areas. Respect the River and Respect the Rio have developed the following successful restoration treatments to meet these needs:

Problem: Vehicles drive onto stream banks or wetlands, killing vegetation, compacting soil, and causing erosion, water delivery, and sediment problems.

Solution:

  • Change site use patterns to keep vehicles farther away from the river.
  • Use aesthetically pleasing barriers such as buck and pole fencing or boulders to help campers adjust.
  • Provide access portal in fence or room between boulders for foot travel and tent camping where appropriate.
Photo of camping vehicles on bank edge, compact earth, no vegetation,and eroding banks

Big Pine site before Restoration in 1993: camping vehicles on bank edge, compact earth, no vegetation, and eroding banks. Site adjacent to spawning area.

Photo of revegetated area fenced from vehicles while still allowing foot access

Big Pine site after Restoration in 1998: earth decompacted, revegetated and fenced from vehicles while still allowing foot access.

Photo of access portal in fence

Big Pine site after Restoration in 1998: access portal in fence

Photo of access portal between rocks

Big Pine site after Restoration in 1998: access portal between rocks

 

Problem: Numerous social trails to the water cause loss of riparian vegetation and bank erosion.

Solution:

  • Modify foot traffic patterns to the river by building or stabilizing one trail to the river.
Photo of bank erosion resulting in tree loss

Human-created trails cause bank erosion at this site

Photo of revegetated river bank   and a single stable trail

This river bank was revegetated and a single stable trail was built

Photo of eroding bank caused by numerous trails to water

Sheep Camp Before restoration: eroding bank caused by numerous trails to water

Photo of bank resloped, revegetated and fenced

Sheep Camp After restoration: bank resloped, one trail to river stabilized, revegetated and fenced

 

Problem: High-use at campsites cause large compacted browned-out areas; trails and user-created roads devoid of vegetation. There is a diminished capacity to handle water run-off and flood events.

Solution:

  • Decompact earth and revegetate using native plants. Protect plantings using fencing, boulders, and/or interpretive signs.
Photo of person planting native seedlings

Revegetation with native plants

Photo of fence built to protect seedlings

Fence built to protect seedlings

 

Problem: Restoration treatments are ineffective or damaged by recreationists.

Solution:

  • Provide interpretive signs that give recreationists information about restoration treatments and etiquette in riparian areas. Provide multiple visits to sites by contact rangers. Contact rangers provide information about restoration treatments, riparian habitat and recreation etiquette in riparian areas.
Photo of interpretive signs on tree trunk

Interpretive signs give recreationists information about restoration treatments

Photo of newly erected steel pipe sign pole

Newly erected steel pipe sign pole

 

Problem: Culverts used to allow water movement of streams beneath forest roads restrict natural water flow and fish migration.

Problem: Restoration treatments are ineffective or damaged by recreationists.

Solution:

  • Provide interpretive signs that give recreationists information about restoration treatments and etiquette in riparian areas. Provide multiple visits to sites by contact rangers. Contact rangers provide information about restoration treatments, riparian habitat and recreation etiquette in riparian areas.
Photo of interpretive signs on tree trunk

Interpretive signs give recreationists information about restoration treatments

Photo of newly erected steel pipe sign pole

Newly erected steel pipe sign pole

 

Problem: Culverts used to allow water movement of streams beneath forest roads restrict natural water flow and fish migration.

Solution:

  • Close or decommission roads going through streams.
  • Construct barriers to keep visitors from driving through the streams.
  • Install interpretive signs explaining the resource damage caused by driving through streams.
  • Repair vehicle damage done to stream by narrowing the stream banks and replant area with native vegetation.
Photo of a Forest Service employee measuring the width of a stream

FS Road 539 crossing Rio de las Vacas in 2001: A Forest Service employee measuring the width of the stream at a junction of old FR and Rio de las Vacas

Photo of stream after heavy machinery was used to bring the stream banks to their original width

FS Road 539 crossing Rio de las Vacas in 2004: FS road 539 has been decommissioned and heavy machinery was used to bring the stream banks to their original width

 

Please contact us directly if you have any questions.

U.S. Forest Service
Last modified: April 12, 2012
http://www.fs.fed.us

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