ShuswapBessette Riparian Planting and Protection Project

Document Sample
ShuswapBessette Riparian Planting and Protection Project Powered By Docstoc
					   Huwer Bank Stabilization and Riparian
            Fencing Project:
                       06.SHU.01


                      Prepared for:
                    Howard and Joe Huwer


                         Prepared by:
                         Tom Minor

            Prepared with the financial support of:
B.C. Hydro Bridge Coastal Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program
06SHU01                                                                       March 14, 2007



                              Executive Summary
  The Huwer Bank Stabilization and Riparian Fencing Project is jointly funded by BC
  Hydro Bridge Coastal Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program (BCRP), the
  Environmental Farm Plan (EFP), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the B.C
  Cattleman’s Association and the landowners, Joe and Howard Huwer. The original
  goal of the project was to protect 450 m of stream bank and old growth cedar riparian
  area while increasing instream habitat values by building 30 habitat structures. These
  structures use a combination of large woody debris, brushy material and rock to
  reduce the erosive force of the river near the bank and while providing instream and
  above-stream cover to improve fish habitat.

  The project resulted in the construction of 71 habitat structures covering
  approximately 950 m of bank. The increase in the number of structures was partially
  due to the development of rock on-site and partially by an increase proportion of the
  landowner’s contribution.




                                              i
06SHU01                                                                                                                    March 14, 2007


                                                      Table of Contents

List of Figures .................................................................................................................. ii
Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 1
Goals and Objectives ......................................................................................................... 1
Study Area ......................................................................................................................... 2
Methods ............................................................................................................................. 5
Results ............................................................................................................................... 7
Discussion ....................................................................................................................... 12
Recommendations ........................................................................................................... 13
Acknowledgements ......................................................................................................... 13
References ....................................................................................................................... 13
Appendices
      I.          Financial Statement
      II.         Performance Measures – Actual Outcomes
      III.        Confirmation of BCRP Recognition




                                                          List of Figures

Figure 1: Aerial view of project site .................................................................................. 2
Figure 2: Location of project ............................................................................................. 3
Figure 3: Location of bank work ........................................................................................ 4
Figure 4: Hawthorn being loaded for bank work ............................................................... 7
Figure 5: Eroding bank before treatment............................................................................ 9
Figure 6: Treated bank ....................................................................................................... 9
Figure 7: Planting frozen shrubs with excavator ............................................................. 10
Figure 8: Planted bank ..................................................................................................... 10
Figure 9: Fence lines ....................................................................................................... 11




                                                                         ii
06SHU01                                                                         March 14, 2007


Introduction

Four years ago, the Huwers began to do bank stabilization work on the Shuswap River upstream
of their Bailey bridge to prevent erosion around the left bank bridge abutments. The Huwers
wanted the bank work to improve fish habitat values as well as prevent bank erosion. Lee
Hesketh was hired to design and supervise the work. Habitat structures using whole trees and
shrubs as well as large rock were constructed along 750 m of bank. The structures provide low-
and high-water refuge for juveniles as well as bank stability. By adding brushy material to the
structures that dampen the current close to be bank and providing dense in-stream and above-
stream cover. They also have helped to maintained pool holding areas with cover for adults by
accelerating and converging the current around the root wads and logs. After the success of this
first project, the Huwers wanted to continue this work upstream. Shifting river channels has been
eroding the banks on several corners and recently formed logjams have accelerated the process.

This property has high habitat values that include a 2 km groundwater-fed pond and creek
complex and 2 km of riverbank. This riverine riparian area contains one of the last stands of
mature cedar on the middle Shuswap River. Typical of Interior old growth cedar, these trees are
largely shells with cavities that provide nesting and denning sites for a variety of birds and
mammals.

Bank erosion and the slow downstream migration of meanders are natural processes. The toppled
trees provide instream cover for fish and often cause scouring and pool habitat. This project used
bank stabilization techniques that incorporates the trees that have recently fallen in and adds
additional large woody debris (LWD) to enhance fish and wildlife habitat. By building the habitat
structures, the erosion is reduced, the old growth riparian trees preserved, holding pools
maintained and created and brushy in-stream cover added for juvenile refuge areas.

The Huwer family participated in four of the five major BC Hydro and BCRP funded projects in
the area. The Ireland Creek Side Channel (02.SH.36) and the Huwer Groundwater Complex
(05.SH.02) were built on Huwer properties. The Huwers were one of the seven landowners
involved with Procter Channel (02.SH.35). The Limmer/Lang Channel (B.C. Hydro) also
borders Huwer properties and required their cooperation. Their previous involvement with BCRP
projects prompted them to apply for funding to help complete this work.

The Huwer Bank Stabilization and Riparian Fencing Project is a jointly funded project by BC
Hydro Bridge Coastal Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program (BCRP), the Environmental Farm
Plan (EFP), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the B.C Cattleman’s Association and the
landowners, Joe and Howard Huwer.


Goals and Objectives

The goal of this project was to protect the cedar riparian area on the Huwer property and improve
fish habitat by building 44 habitat structures along 450 m of the left bank of the Shuswap River
and building 4 km of riparian fence.




                                                1
06SHU01                                                                        March 14, 2007


Study Area

Lawrence Road, off Mabel Lake Road, 20 kms north of Lumby, UTM 11 0371.634, 5578.418 to
0371.927, 5580.188, approximately 8 km downstream of the Wilsey Dam on the Middle Shuswap
River and 6 km downstream of Bessette Creek, the Middle Shuswap River’s main tributary.

This section of the Shuswap River is one of the most heavily utilized spawning areas on the
Middle Shuswap River (Arc 2001). The river is braided and contained in one channel for only
about 1/3 of its length along the Huwer property. Logjams have contributed to creation of the
various channels and lateral movement over the past few years (Figure 2).

The Huwer property consists of 640 acres of which approximately 100 acres are cleared. The un-
cleared portion of the property is cedar/spruce/cottonwood forest in the floodplain (el. 408 m)
while the hillside is Douglas fir. Most on the land is on the west side of the river and is
accessible only by their Bailey bridge. The land is used for summer pasture and a winter-feeding
area for cattle.




           Extent of bank work




Figure 1: The bank stabilization began at upper (downstream) area and ended at the lower
(upstream) arrow. This area is roughly 1200 m long with approximately 950 m treated. The
3600m riparian fence will exclude livestock from the riverbank and pond area.




                                               2
06SHU01                                                                                                         March 14, 2007




                                                                        Huwer
                                                                        Project




                                                                     Wilsey Dam




Figure 2: The project is located on the Shuswap River 8 km downstream of Wilsey Dam in the Southern Interior.

                                                                    3
  06SHU01                                                                                                March 14, 2007




                                                         Huwer Bridge
                                                         Start of existing
                                                         bank work



                Project
                Area
                                                      End of existing bankwork
                                                      Start of new work




                 Shuswap
                 River

                                    Mabel                                    Shuswap
                                    Lake                                     River
                                    Road

                                                      End of new
                                                      work
                                    Wilsey Dam                                     Side Channel widened during
 Bessette                                                                          2006 freshet
 Creek

Figure 3: Location of Huwer property and bank work.
    Lumby


                                                           4
                                                           1
06SHU01                                                                         March 14, 2007


Methods

A work permit were obtained on August 30 (Ministry of Environment File #A35753). Work
began in early November, developing rock on the Huwer property. In mid-November, access was
developed to the drier areas. After there was sufficient frost in the ground to allow passage of
loaded dump trucks, access to the wetter sites was cleared.

Material Collection
Rock development began in October. As the river access was opened, some rock was delivered
to each habitat structure location. Because of the lack of space between trees, only one or two
loads could be placed per structure. The amount of wood and brush that could be placed before
excavation work began was also limited.

Three excavators were used. A John Deere 150 developed and loaded rock from two pits on the
Huwer property. Two Hitachi 120 excavators were used to build the habitat structures, for
placing extra woody debris and for re-planting the shrubs.

Two dump trucks were employed for delivering rock and some woody material. Because there
was no hauling on or across public roads, full-length trees and shrubs could be hauled with the
dump trucks (Figure 4). One of the trucks belongs to the landowner and was counted as in-kind.

A 360 Timberjack line skidder was used to collect wood (mostly windfall and old logging debris)
from the hillside and pasture areas of the Huwer property and skid the material to the work sites.
Douglas fir, hemlock and cedar were the preferred species and most often used especially for the
larger trees because of their longevity. Whole hawthorn shrubs from recent land clearing were
also used. The hawthorn is dense, very strong and long lasting. When used in the habitat
structures, the thorns tend to collect other material that adds to the dampening effect of the
structures. The skidder was also used to move some of the frozen shrubs from the fence line to
the riverside for planting.

Habitat Structures
Location of each habitat structure was marked with 1 m wooden stakes and flagging in June.
Each structure is placed at a location where it will be most effective in deflecting the flow away
from the bank. The structure farthest upstream was placed 10 m downstream of a bedrock outcrop
that formed the left bank. Subsequent structures were placed an average of 15 m apart so each
structure is at the downstream end of the lee of the structure immediately upstream.. There was
some variation in distance between structures due to the spacing of the cedar trees growing at the
edge of the bank. The structures were placed to minimize disturbance to the roots of these trees.
The large woody debris (LWD) of the main structure deflects the thalweg away from the bank
while the brushy material placed in between the larger wood and on the downstream end of the
structure reduces the erosive force or the water around the structure and dampens the eddy effect
caused by the deflection.

Before a structure was placed, the area was examined for redds. All work was completed without
damage to redd sites either directly or by creating a souring action or other flow alteration that
would affect redds downstream of the structure.

At the start of the excavation work, the bank overhang was pulled back. The vegetation and
organic layer of soil covering the work area peeled back and removed in such a manner as to



                                                5
06SHU01                                                                           March 14, 2007

preserve as much of the root structure as possible and placed to the side for later re-use. This
material was replaced over the disturbed area after construction is complete.

A trench was excavated in the riverbank perpendicular to the river to approximately 0.3 m above
the water level. The length of the trench was determined by the LWD to be placed in the bank.
Generally, one-third to one-half the length of the log or tree was buried in the bank. The trench
excavation is continued below water level but with a narrow berm maintained between water and
trench to isolate the work area from the river and prevent any release of silt. Once below the
waterline, s the excavator removed the saturated material slowly, so as not to create a vacuum that
would cause the berm to fail. Once the trench is excavated to slightly below the streambed level,
large angular rock was placed. The large rocks are placed individually for a tight fit. Smaller
rock was packed between the large rocks to form a tight matrix and compacted with the bucket.
This base layer brought the trench back up to water level. The rock base below streambed level
will reduce the risk of future undercutting. The width of the trench was generally 2 m wide
depending upon the material to be placed, the cohesiveness of bank material, depth of water and
height of bank. The bank material was sufficiently fine that seepage was not a problem here.
However, the trench was backfilled from the river end first so that any seepage could be removed
with the bucket from the end of the trench farthest from the river before placing the next
bucketful of rock. This prevented any silty water displaced from the trench from entering into the
river.

A pump was kept on hand in case the bank and berm material was porous and seepage became a
problem. Enough discharge hose was on hand so that the silty water could be pumped far enough
so as not to flow back to the river or muddy the work site.

Once a base was placed level with the waterline, the first layer of smaller trees and/or logs and
brush clumps were placed with tops extending out over water. The angle of material varied with
the desired area of influence and length of material but generally about 40o off the downstream
bank to 40o off the upstream bank. The brushy material was fanned out to dampen the stream
energy around the base of the structure. The brushy material used was often the tops of
coniferous trees left from recent logging on the hillside. Some longer shrubs like hawthorn were
place so the tops hung in the water at the downstream end of the structure to dampen the eddy
effect of the LWD. A mixture of rock and excavated soil was packed in with the woody material
to fill the voids and compacted with the bucket.

Larger logs/trees (0.3 - 0.6 m butt diameter x 5 – 7 m) were placed over top of the first layer and
large rock placed around the end of the logs and along the edge of bank. This LWD and the large
rock used to secure them are the main anchors that will hold the structure in place. Large rock is
placed as ballast. The rock face at the water will prevent erosion of the disturbed material along
water’s edge and movement of the anchor log. Smaller rock and the remainder of the bank
material were compacted with the bucket around the logs and ballast rock. Finally, the topsoil,
sod and shrubs were placed over top.

Trees that had recently fallen into the river and were still adjacent to the bank were secured in
place by placing the larger logs over the trunk of the tree behind the root wad and brushy material
in the gap between the root and the bank.

Fencing
The fence line was cleared after the ground was frozen with a Case 1150E cat, provided by the
landowner. Larger shrubs were lifted and replanted with the 120 excavator. Posts are being
driven with a Hitachi 120 excavator. The fence will be a six strand fence with four strands of


                                                 6
06SHU01                                                                          March 14, 2007

high tensile wire and two strands of barbed wire. The two center strands of barbed wire
discourage cattle from pushing against the fence or putting their heads through the fence to graze,
often loosening the wire. The two upper and lower strands of high tensile wire reduce the
potential to injure wild life jumping over or slipping under the fence.

Planting
The existing large shrubs such as Douglas maple (Acer glabrum), mountain alder (Alnus incana
ssp tenuifolia), and beaked hazelnut (Corylus cornuta) found along the riverbank and fence line
were lifted with the excavator and placed to the side during site preparation. These shrubs were
replanted after the bank work was done. Grass seeding was done during the last week of March.
Additional planting of live willow stakes will be done in April. The EFP and landowner are
sharing the cost of planting.

Results

Seventy-one habitat structures were built covering approximately 950 m of bank. Approximately
450 loads of rock (3600 m3) were loaded from the two pits developed on the Huwer property.

Both the rock and woody material were developed on the Huwer property. Cycle time was about
15 minutes.

The majority of the wood and brushy material was skidded to the work site and is harder to
quantify. Roughly two truckloads (Figure 5) were used per 3 habitat structures.




Figure 4: Hawthorne being loaded into the demolition-style box of one of the dump trucks to be
taken to the river on the Huwer property

Approximately 1700 m of the riparian fence line is through un-cleared land and required some
brushing and leveling. Another 1900 m is at the edge cleared fields on the outside of the existing
riparian band.


                                                 7
06SHU01                                                                          March 14, 2007




Figure 5: A higher than average runoff and shift in the river accelerated the rate of erosion. Some
of the recently fallen trees were incorporated into the bank work.




Figure 6: Seventy-one habitat structures were built and the bank re-sloped along approximately
1000 m of bank. Additional woody debris was placed along top of bank for wildlife cover and to
create microclimates for spring planting of willow cuttings and spruce seedlings.


                                                8
06SHU01                                                                          March 14, 2007




Figure 7: Shrubs were removed for construction, stored out of the way and later replanted with
the excavators. Fifteen to twenty-five centimeters of frost in the ground allowed the shrubs to be
lifted easily with most the root mass in tact. The frozen dirt clump could easily be handled later
for re-planting. The area will be heavily grass seeded and planted with live willow stakes.




Figure 8: Shrubs removed for construction were replaced along the top of bank.



                                                9
    06SHU01                                                                         March 14, 2007




                                                                                         Existing fence


                                                                                         New fence



                                                                                         Bank work




Figure 9: The new fence will protect 3600 m of riparian area along the river and pond.



                                                    10
06SHU01                                                                            March 14, 2007


Discussion

This project was jointly funded by BC Hydro Bridge Coastal Fish and Wildlife Restoration
Program (BCRP), the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the
B.C Cattleman’s Association and the landowners, Joe and Howard Huwer. BCRP portion of the
funding was dedicated largely to the material and construction of the habitat structures.

The work that was originally planned included 30 habitat structures over 430 m. The additional
work was done because shifts in the river in the spring of 2006 that increased the rate of erosion
on the upstream end of the Huwer property. The additional bank that was treated is on a side
channel where erosion was occurring at a slower rate than the rest of the property. It was thought
that this area wouldn’t have to be treated for at least several years. However, the loss of an
upstream logjam caused the side channel to widen and increased the portion of the river’s flow
into the side channel, accelerating the rate of erosion.

The landowner covered the additional costs for construction. The cost of the additional work were
offset to some degree by developing all the construction material on site. The cost of developing
the rock was offset by getting the rock as in-kind and the shorter haul cycle for the trucks.

The EFP will provide some additional funding for the extra planting and fencing. The treated
area now extends upstream to a hard point where bedrock will prevent any further lateral
movement of the channel. This will prevent upstream erosion from working down and around the
habitat structures

There was an abundance woody and brushy material on the property for construction materials. A
windstorm last summer left blowdown scattered around the property. Clearing debris for access
to the riverbank and for the fence line also provided woody and brushy material. There was also
some recent clearing around one of the fields provided hawthorn and other shrubs to incorporate
into the structures.

The bank work for this project was originally scheduled for August but was delayed when it was
determined that the decking of the Huwer’s Bailey bridge would have to be replaced before rock
could be hauled across it. While the landowner was trying to source affordable decking, the
problem was circumvented by developing rock on the Huwer property so that the bridge didn’t
have to be used. The cost of developing the rock was offset by not having to purchase rock and
by the shorter cycle time. The trucks were able to make a round trip in 15-20 minutes as opposed
to 30 to 45 minutes from the nearest quarry.

The second cause for delay was the access to the river remained too wet in many places to haul
truckloads of rock without hauling in gravel first. This would have been expensive and would
have created a more intrusive and permanent roadway than was wanted. This problem was
solved by waiting for sufficient frost to be able to haul materials with only minor clearing.

Waiting for cold weather had additional benefits. The Shuswap River is typically at its lowest
level during the winter months with less threat of surges due to rain. Low water is critical for
installing the habitat structures at the proper depth without causing siltation or the extensive use
of pumps and additional isolation techniques.

Once the ground is frozen, disturbance to the soil and root structure of the vegetation is
minimized. Shrubs along the access routes, for example, can be cut off at ground level and the
root systems left intact. With 15 to 25 cm of frost, the shrubs that had to be removed for


                                                 11
06SHU01                                                                           March 14, 2007

construction could be lifted with the excavator and stored nearby with the frozen root balls intact.
The frost also protects the smaller shrubs and non-woody vegetation from being destroyed. The
above ground material is removed during work but the root systems remain intact and the plants
quickly re-grow in spring.

Another change to the original plan was the placement of extra woody debris along the top of
bank in the treatment area. This was done because of the extensive area of the work. While the
entire treatment area is to be seeded and planted with deciduous trees, the added debris will off
immediate cover for wildlife along the river. It will also allow for planting trees in protected
pockets.

There was a delay in the delivery of the fencing materials for the project. The fencing is expected
to be completed in April. The EFP is covering part of the cost of clearing for the fence and
erecting the fence. As soon as the fencing is completed, willows stakes will be planted and
protected with vole guards and wire.

Recommendations

The bank work should be inspected during and after freshet for stability. Any adjustments can be
made during the August in-stream work window with proper notification. Re-vegetation should
be checked after freshet and re-seeding done in any areas where the earlier seeding didn’t take on
the bank slope.

Acknowledgements

This project was made possible with funding from BC Hydro Bridge Coastal Fish and Wildlife
Restoration Program, the Environmental Farm Plan, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the B.C
Cattleman’s Association.

References

Arc Environmental Ltd., 2001, Shuswap River Fish/Aquatic Information Review.




                                                12
        06SHU01                                    Appendix I                                        March 14, 2007



                                                                                     Project #         06SH01

                                     Financial Statement Form

                                                       Budget                                 Actual
                                                   BCRP          Other           BCRP                   Other
INCOME
Total Income by Source                     $        64,145   $    73,199     $       64,145      $      130,099*
Grand Total Income                             $                 137,344 $                                194,244*

EXPENSES
Project Pesonnel
Wages                                      $            -    $     7,776     $          -        ongoing*
Consultant Fees                            $         2,540   $     6,360     $       2,520       $   3,150*
Contractors
 Skidder                                   $         1,365   $        -      $       1,365       $      5,980
 Truck                                     $          420    $        -      $         420       $        420
 Excavator                                 $         4,500   $    12,500     $       4,500       $     52,864
 Excavator (rock)                          $        54,120   $    15,000     $       54,120      $     20,000
 Cat                                       $            -    $        -      $           -       $      4,550
 Truck                                     $            -    $        -      $          -        $     10,855
 Tractor                                   $            -    $     4,615     $          -        $     6,862*
Materials and Equipment                                                      $           -
silt control                               $            -    $       750     $          -        $          -
chainsaws. Handtools                       $            -    $       750     $          -        $          -
Woody material for structures (lwd, swd)   $            -    $    13,200     $          -        $     13,200
Fence materials                            $            -    $    12,248     $          -        $     12,248*
Permits                                    $            -    $        -      $           -       $         130
Signage                                    $         1,200   $        -      $       1,060       $          -
Administration                             $            -    $        -      $           -       $          -




Total Expenses                             $        64,145   $    73,199     $       63,985      $ 130,259
Grand Total Expenses                           $                 137,344         $                     194,244*


BALANCE                                        $                         -           $                       -

           * cost to date: there will be additional costs as fencing and planting are completed
06SHU01   Appendix II   March 14, 2007
06SHU01   Appendix III   March 14, 2007