Controlling Erosion and Healing the Land
On Friday, August 14 landowners, agency staff and interested citizens learned techniques to control erosion and heal the land. Bill Zeedyk and Shawn Conner gave fascinating presentations on how simple rock structures can heal eroded stream channels and headcuts and put water back onto meadows to increase production of grasses and wildflowers. We videotaped the field sessions. See the photo captions or below for links, or email us with your name and mailing address to borrow a DVD at no cost.
On Saturday, August 15 a crew of volunteers met in Dry Creek Basin, south of Naturita, for a hands-on training. We built a total of ten rock structures. Just 5 weeks later, they were already working. Click here to see how the One Rock Dam is stopping sediment. This will raise the level of the incised channel, so eventually, the water will flow back onto the historic floodplain.
If you’d like to learn more, there’s helpful information on Bill Zeedyk’s website and here's an excellent handout about the structures from Watershed Artisans. After you’ve looked at the handouts to get some background, you can view the videos of Bill Zeedyk explaining how to build the structures:
§ One Rock Dam: slows the speed of water in a stream, raises incised stream channels, so eventually water flows back onto the historic floodplain and increases growth of vegetation
§ Rock Rundown: stops a gentle headcut from travelling upstream
§ Media Luna: turns channelized flow into sheet flow and increases growth of vegetation
§ Zuni Bowl: stops a steeper headcut from travelling upstream
In addition, here’s a link for a 6-minute video on how they’ve used these techniques on ranches in Gunnison to improve range and Gunnison sage-grouse habitat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-EJBMlKFv8&t=2s. Note: you may need permits from the Army Corps of Engineers and/or other agencies before you start installing these structures–check first.
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