Birch Creek Restoration Design Report - Prepared for Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Bureau of Land Management
This report describes the design and implementation of a stream restoration project (bid AS 18027) along Birch Creek, near Beaver, Utah. Birch Creek is a demonstration project designed to highlight a range of low cost, simple restoration structures, including Beaver Dam Analogs (BDAs), Post-Assisted Log Structures (PALS) as well as other woody structures that increase in-channel roughness and complexity, as well as promote incision recovery and channel-floodplain connectivity. As part of the demonstration, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) also performed restoration work along two segments of Birch Creek using an excavator. The goals of restoration along Birch Creek are to improve in-stream habitat for native Bonneville cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki Utah) and increase native riparian vegetation. Previous surveys have shown Birch Creek is home to BCT, which are considered a species of greatest conservation need (Utah Wildlife Action Plan 2015). BCT found in Birch Creek have been used as an important source population for BCT reintroductions in other streams in the Beaver River and Sevier River watersheds (Hadley et al., 2011). Current and historic land management practices as well as natural limitations (e.g., low flow conditions) contribute to current low quality BCT habitat in Birch Creek. A restoration design plan was developed by Anabranch Solutions during August and September 2017. Implementation of restoration using heavy equipment was designed and performed by UDWR personnel on September 11-12, 2017. Implementation of the ‘cheap and cheerful’ restoration designed by Anabranch Solutions was performed by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff and volunteers from October 16-20, 2017 with direction and construction observation from Anabranch Solutions personnel. The UDWR treated two ~150 m segments along the upper section of Birch Creek. Anabranch Solutions and BLM built 60 restoration structures along roughly 1.75 km of stream. Two small sections, roughly 150 m in length were left untreated as control segments. In order to evaluate the influence of restoration on streamflow, 90-degree V-notch weirs were installed at the upstream extent of the treatment area and below the restoration area by Utah State University. For a complete description of the restoration site and recommended monitoring actions associated with this restoration we refer readers to the Restoration and Monitoring Plan for Bonneville Cutthroat Trout and Riparian Vegetation on Birch Creek, Beaver County, Utah (Macfarlane et al., USU, in Preparation).