Colorado River Cross Watershed Restoration
Project ID: 4009
Status: Completed
Fiscal Year: 2018
Submitted By: 644
Project Manager: Jason Kirks
PM Agency: Bureau of Land Management
PM Office: Moab
Lead: Bureau of Land Management
WRI Region: Southeastern
This project is brought forward by the Southeast Utah Riparian Partnership (SURP) as a collaboration of state, federal and non-profit partners to transform and restore riparian functions and river systems that belong to the Middle Colorado River Basin. This project proposes to treat over 700 acres of riparian lands, and do follow up treatments on over 300 acres previously treated through previous WRI projects and various other grants and agency budgets.
The Middle Colorado River Basin, more specifically; Bull Canyon Negro Bill Canyon Labyrinth Canyon Castle Creek Kane Creek Westwater Bald Eagle Green River Moab Daily Section North Shore Lion's Park Goose Island Dewey Bridge Courthouse Wash Phase III (previous WRI Project #3572)
Project Need
Need For Project:
The establishment of tamarisk and other non-native invasive plants along the Middle Colorado River Basin (MCRB) during the 20th Century has negatively impacted riparian and aquatic habitats. Dense stands of tamarisk displaced native plants, degraded wildlife habitat, reduced livestock forage, limited human access, interfered with the natural fluvial processes, and increased the risk of severe wildfires. The impacts of tamarisk on aquatic habitats are sometimes not fully recognized, but tamarisk tends to eliminate side channel and backwater habitats that provide critical spawning and nursery habitat for native fish by trapping sediments, which reduces habitat complexity in stream channels in a manner that negatively impacts rare native fishes, and reduces the input of key nutrients that support aquatic food webs (Graf 1978, Geological Society of American Bulletin 89:1149-1501; Bailey et al. 2001, Wetlands 21:442-447; Keller et al. 2014, Environmental Management 54:465-478). Inventory and monitoring of riparian habitats by the Tamarisk Coalition and the USGS revealed a pattern of establishment and spread of very dense stands of tamarisk accompanied by the displacement of diverse native plant communities along major stretches of the Colorado River Basin. Beginning in 2006, various state, federal, county, non-profit and private organizations identified and began treating over 4,000 acres of impacted riparian habitat dominated by tamarisk and other invasive plants in an effort to restore native vegetation and improve the quality of riparian and riverine habitats. The proposed project is needed to complete (1) removal of over 700 acres of tamarisk at prioritized sites; (2) to manage 300 acres of previously treated areas in need of follow-up weed treatments; (3) revegetation efforts including both seeding and planting a diversity of tree species; and (4) re-connect side-channels which provide important backwater habitat for juvenile native fish while restoring channel complexity. This proposal builds off of many years of previous WRI-funded projects as well as projects funded through other grants or agency budgets. We are now entering the second decade of restoration and conservation work in the area after the release of the Tamarisk beetle. As we've learned through the years, restoration is best approached through collaboration and planned at the watershed scale. By grouping many projects around the area together, and re-treating areas that were restored nearly a decade ago, we will increase our efficiency and restore a vast amount of habitat all at once providing an immense benefit to the riparian lands of the middle Colorado River Basin. All of the project areas are detailed under the methods section and include new Tamarisk and Russian Olive removal areas at: North Shore Lion's Park, Castle Creek, Courthouse Wash, Sevenmile Wash, Bull Canyon, Colorado River Daily area, Westwater and Bald Eagle campsites, Green River at Curtis Island and in Labyrinth Canyon. Follow-up treatments at previous project locations including reduction of tamarisk re-sprouts and herbaceous weeds such as Russian knapweed at: Goose Island, Castle Creek, Dewey Bridge, North Shore Lion's Park, Negro Bill Canyon, Courthouse Wash, Curtis Island, and Jackson Bottom. These follow-up treatments are important to help restore native riparian vegetation as a means of improving fluvial processes, increasing the quality of riparian vegetation for wildlife and livestock, and reducing wildfire risk. Without WRI funding, these projects would not move forward at this scale. WRI and UPCD help soften agency boundaries and jurisdictions and can settle contentious issues with property ownership on the river. By setting forth collaborative projects funded from WRI, agencies can better work together and come to agree on project locations. WRI also helps incorporate unique partners and fosters a true sense of collaboration and partnership to restore the river at a watershed scale. This project exemplifies what can happen when multiple state, federal, county, private and nonprofit organizations come together under common goals. This project also seeks to incorporate social goals and involve community members and organizations in river conservation, as outlined under the partners section. Multiple nonprofit organizations from the community have come together to help organize community restoration tree planting days in the fall, and will help develop interpretive materials to inspire local folks as well as international visitors to become a steward of the river which will help these restoration efforts and goals for years to come.
The overall objective of this project is to restore riparian habitats along the MCRB to a more diverse, functional, self-sustaining, and resilient condition. Progress will be assessed based on long-term ecological objectives for each project location including: (1) reducing live tamarisk to less than 5 percent of the vegetation cover; (2) reducing other invasive, non-native plants to less than 15 percent of the vegetation cover; (3) maintaining total vegetation cover equal to or greater than 30 percent; and (4) documenting passive recruitment of native plants towards species-specific thresholds in the riparian corridor. Additionally, some areas will be seeded (see attached seed mix) to promote active recruitment of native species within areas removed of tamarisk. This seed mix will also help protect these areas against recruitment of non-native secondary noxious weeds such as knapweed and perennial pepperweed. In addition to these restoration goals, this project will enable partners to conduct outreach events to the local community and engage people with natural resource management. Social goals for this project include: (1) engaging with local community members and visitors to inspire them about river restoration efforts; (2) decrease river degradation in high use areas through interpretation located within active restoration projects; (3) educate and inform visitors about sensitive riparian species and efforts to mitigate loss of habitat through hands-on learning in tree planting events; (4) hiring local crews and organizations to stimulate the local economy through river restoration.
Project Location/Timing Justification (Why Here? Why Now?):
A variety of threats that have degraded riparian habitat throughout the MCRB in Utah will be addressed with this proposed work. Motorized forms of recreation (6.1.1) have damaged native plant communities and spread noxious weeds. Dense stands of tamarisk have increased fuel loads (7.1.1) and with their deep root systems have altered the sediment transport balance (7.2.11) and simplified riverine habitat (7.3.3) along vast stretches of the Colorado and Green Rivers in eastern Utah. Many of these stretches are also dominated by a suite of invasive, non-native plants (8.1.2) that accompany tamarisk, such as Russian Knapweed and Kochia. Another risk is not building on past restoration investments effectively to restore native plant communities to a healthier, increasingly self-sustaining level. In the areas proposed within this project, invasive plant densities are not yet reduced to a level of low-intensity maintenance; failure to build on past work in these areas in a timely manner will detract from previous restoration efforts and increase costs down the road for improving habitat and reducing fuel loads. Consideration has been given to timing of these projects as well. With increased mortality of tamarisk, there are now very dense stands of dead tamarisk that are stuck within an ecological threshold. Without management intervention, it is likely that these dense dead stands of tamarisk will remain as such for decades. By approaching this project through a phased approach (as outlined in methods, 30% reduction through cutting strips in the stands, and revegetating each year), we will help tip the ecological threshold to a more diverse and sustainable plant community over the next several years of project implementation. If we wait longer, there is a possibility that these areas will be stuck in this dense dead tamarisk state for decades. Furthermore, without a robust revegetation plan we have seen tamarisk removal sites become thickets of Kochia, Russian Knapweed and other herbaceous noxious weeds. This component of the project is needed in order to move these areas to become resilient native riparian plant communities in the future. There are no negative impacts to conducting treatments at this time. However there are substantial negative aspects of waiting to conduct these treatments. As beetle monitoring studies conducted by Grand County have shown, tamarisk mortality has been increasing over the past decade since the beetle introduction. Without management intervention, we may see the bulk of the riparian community in this ecosystem frozen in a dead tamarisk stand state. We must act now to revegetate these important riparian communities and help tip the ecological threshold to become more resilient and supportive of wildlife and livestock while significantly reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire.
Relation To Management Plan:
(1) The Moab Field Office (MFO) Programmatic Invasive Species Management Plan (PISMP) is an integrated pest management approach to eradicate, contain, control and prevent targeted weeds within the MFO. The desired goal is to contain or control the spread of invasive species and eradicate species that pose the greatest threat to the biological diversity within the MFO, and prevent any new weeds from becoming established by utilizing a wide range of treatment options (i.e. mechanical, manual, herbicide, etc.). The resulting proactive management of these plants would promote the areas ecosystem health and promote diverse native communities by maintaining and improving native forbs and grass species, increasing the regeneration of native cottonwoods and willows in riparian corridors, and ultimately preventing the loss of wildlife habitat, species diversity, and wildfire risk. (2) Moab BLM Resource Management Plan (RMP) prioritizes management of riparian vegetation and emphasizes the control of noxious weeds, prevention of the spread of invasive species, and restoration of vegetated areas. Reduction of tamarisk and restoration of native riparian vegetation addresses management objectives for improving the quality and health of riparian habitats while improving the quality of resources used in recreation and reducing fuels in a manner that decreases the likelihood and severity of wildfires. Specific management decisions in the RMP that are directly related to the primary objectives of the proposed project include RIP-9, which calls for restoring riparian vegetation "through biological, chemical, mechanical, and manual methods (e.g., tamarisk control, willow plantings)," and RIP-16, which calls for implementation of strategies to "restore degraded riparian communities" and "protect natural flow regimes." (3) The project addresses goals and objectives of the BLM Utah Riparian Policy, which states that "riparian areas are to be improved at every opportunity." (4)The NPS conducted an Environmental Assessment in 2009, with full compliance before it was approved. In particular, pages 4-5 in chapter 2 outline specific herbicides and management goals which are supported through this WRI proposal. (5)The Comprehensive Management Plan completed in year 2015, identifies the management of invasive species as a priority in section 2.4 on page 39 of the final plan. Specifically the document states: "Since 2009 the southeast area fire wardens removed 17 acres of tamarisk using the cut, pile and burn method" and further states that "The Utah Noxious Weed Act (Subsection R68-9) dictates weed control on sovereign lands, where all state listed weeds are put in to categories based on the threat of spread and the priority of removal." This indicates that State Sovereign Lands are to be managed for the removal of such noxious weeds. (7) The Utah Mule Deer Statewide Management Plan calls for an emphasis on improving riparian habitat and use of seed mixes that include sufficient forbs and browse species (Habitat Objective 2). (8) Pursuant to the Utah Noxious Weed Act, Section 7, to every person who owns or controls lands in Grand County, Utah, that noxious weeds standing, being, or growing on such land shall be controlled and the spread of same prevented by effective cutting, tillage, cropping, pasturing, or treating with chemicals or other methods, or combination methods, or combination thereof, approved by the County Weed Supervisor, as often as may be required to prevent the weed from blooming and maturing seeds, or spreading by root, root stalks or other means. Listed species include hoary cress, tamarisk, Russian knapweed, and Russian Olive. (9) Middle Colorado River Watershed Cooperative Weed Management Area Cooperative Agreement - partnering organizations working along the Colorado River work towards the CWMA's goal "to promote an integrated weed management program throughout the MCRW-CWMA that includes public relations, education and training in the non-native invasive weed arena as well as inventory, monitoring, controlling and preventing the spread of non-native invasive weeds, sharing of resources, and designing other desirable resource protection measures relative to weed management." (10) BLM Healthy Lands Initiative: The project area has been identified as a focal area of this vegetation-resources enhancement initiative to restore and improve the health and productivity of western public lands. The Healthy Lands strategy increases the effectiveness and efficiency of vegetation enhancement treatments by focusing on treatments on a significant percentage of lands -- both Federal and non-Federal -- within six geographic locations, rather than focusing on the local project level. The strategy increases opportunities to leverage cooperative solutions across ownership's and jurisdictions. (11) U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Utah Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program Strategic Plan: This project falls within a priority area, priority habitat (riparian), and addresses threats to priority species (SWFL and YBCU). The attached document at the end of the proposal outlines a list of management plans and objectives which the BLM compiled for project number 3342 and 3572 for the Courthouse Wash Watershed, as well as another attached document outlining the BLM's management plan compliance for this current WRI project proposal. The BLM has completed the NEPA document and Pesticide Use Plans (PUP) to fully cover this work on BLM lands.
Fire / Fuels:
This project will decrease the risk of high severity wildfire by reducing dead stands of beetle-killed tamarisk trees. Studies have shown that these stands of tamarisk as well as associated Russian olive can serve as ladder fuels, carrying fire into the crowns of native cottonwoods. Fire spread and intensity are enhanced when there is a buildup of dead and senescent material in the tamarisk crowns, as is currently the case. Removing this fuel loading will help reduce soil erosion, and promote the establishment of under-story native vegetation, which is critical to maintaining riparian ecosystem resilience. Dead tamarisk fuels in the MCRB poses a fire hazard to numerous recreation sites, campgrounds, roadways, structures, energy infrastructure, fire personnel, recreating citizens and endangered species habitat. The Castle Creek portion of the project will extend an existing fuel break that is protecting homes and infrastructure and will allow the completion of a phased removal of woody invasives from a previously treated reach of the creek. The current fire regime condition class in the tamarisk galleries is high (3), and would be reduced to moderate (2) immediately after treatment. Additionally the removal of dead tamarisk trees would create breaks in the tree canopy where firefighters could safely begin suppressing wildfires. According to the Utah DNR Wildfire Risk Portal (Cat. Fire Map or UWRAP) the area is at risk of low to high intensity fire. The project area has had increasing wildfires over the past ten years since the release of the tamarisk beetle in 2004. Studies have shown that contiguous stands of tamarisk in the riparian zones lead to fire return intervals that are too frequent for the successful establishment of native cottonwoods and willows -- a key component of our restoration efforts on the Colorado, the Green, and their tributaries.
Water Quality/Quantity:
Large-scale tamarisk removal has the potential to improve water quality by reducing salinity levels of soils in riparian habitats. In addition, tamarisk tends to have higher rates of evapotranspiration than the native upland plants that it tends to displace from floodplain habitats. Consequently, the project has the potential to reduce water lost through evapotranspiration in riparian and floodplain habitats and therefore increase not only the quality of water but the quantity as well. Removing tamarisk and Russian Olive from the banks of streams and riverbeds, will help establish natural hydro-morphological processes and more effectively distribute water resources throughout the MCRB watershed. After invasive species are removed, passive restoration of native plants as well as targeted seeding and planting of trees and shrubs will allow more stable and natural drainage conditions to develop. With more stable and natural conditions, soil erosion and sedimentation rates will be reduced. Decreased erosion and sedimentation rates would be a direct improvement to water quality conditions. Studies have also shown that tamarisk and Russian olive trees use an incredible amount of water. By reducing their abundance, more water will be available for native plants and wildlife. This will also help re-establish water and soil dynamics for the watershed. By removing Tamarisk and Russian Olive from the watershed, we can promote channel dynamicism and therefore a more complex channel planform. This can in turn improve water quality in the river over the long term. This effect from the removal of non-native woody trees will not be seen in the short time frame but would be apparent in the long term.
NEPA has been completed by the BLM Moab Field Office's Programmatic Invasive Species Management Plan (PISMP). The project area has a current federal Pesticide Use Plan (PUP). Archaeology clearance is usually not required for work within riparian lands adjacent to the river on State sovereign lands. However, if any cultural resources are suspected or discovered throughout work on this project all work will cease until expert archaeologists can assess and determine appropriate action. The State of Utah does not have a formal NEPA process to follow for restoration work but will defer to the federal partners involved to ensure compliance with any applicable federal restrictions or reporting requirements. The Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands can assist in any compliance documentation necessary to complete work on this project and looks forward to closely working with federal partners to complete all necessary permitting. This project is also broadly supported by the Southeast Utah Riparian Partnership's plan, and many of it's members are listed as partner organizations.
Partners within this project have decided to group together many of the restoration projects throughout the area into one WRI proposal. This helps reduce the number of proposals within our WRI region, and consolidates some tasks of implementing projects such as contracting and crew leading/training. With WRI funding, we will contract Utah Conservation Corps (UCC) to devote two eight person crews for the entire fall season to restoration projects under this proposal. Since we are contracting UCC for the entire fall season, partners under this grant will have the opportunity to train these crews for two weeks out on projects locations and dial down these 16 corps members to become the most efficient restoration machine this area has ever been privileged to work with. These eight person crews will work from late-August through mid-November and will work more efficiently throughout the season as they gain knowledge and experience working on Tamarisk and Russian Olive projects. This WRI proposal allows partners to train a 16 person crew which greatly increases productivity and efficiency rather than partners individually training small crews for small projects. The following methods will be employed at all restoration areas identified in this proposal, after introducing the methods we will provide further explanation to partners on the grant, and then provide more detail in each area we are proposing to work in. FFSL identified project areas to work in on the Colorado River based on the Colorado River Conservation Planning (CRCP) Study completed by Chris Rassmussen with the United States Geological Survey, attached in draft form at the end of this proposal. This study provides a framework for identifying potential restoration areas along the mainstem of the Colorado River and a GIS database to include natural recovery potential and native species abundance to assist in identifying restoration targets along the river. All areas included at the end of this section (except for Green River sites, outside of this study) were identified using the CRCP GIS dataset. In each project location, UCC would treat Tamarisk and Russian Olive trees by chainsaw cutting or frill cuts, scattering slash or piling the debris to be burned by a FFSL crew or BLM crew in the winter. The crews cutting Tamarisk and Russian Olive will also have licensed herbicide applicators to treat tree stumps immediately after cutting with Aquaneat or Garlon 4 provided by FFSL as in-kind match. Photo points will be taken before treatments start, and after the treatments are completed in each area. Photo points will be marked with a GPS point, and will be re-photographed each year throughout the project lifespan. The top priority this year is to reduce Russian Olive from the watershed. Crews will first target areas of known infestations of Russian Olives throughout the project area. Single or isolated Russian Olive trees will be treated using the frill cut method to allow for wildlife habitat as the tree slowly dies. Many of the Russian Olive trees throughout these areas have been treated in the past and are showing signs of slow death, it is important to continually monitor these trees and apply additional herbicide through frill cuts until the tree completely dies. Timing is very important and these treatments need to occur in the late fall. Glyphosate seems to work much better than Triclopyr, so crews will use glyphosate (aquaneat) for all Russian Olive treatments. Last year through WRI funding, nearly 180 Russian Olive trees were cut down and treated with herbicide throughout Courthouse Wash. Many of these trees were isolated in individual tree stands. This year, with WRI funding we will retreat any sprouts from these cut stumps. Additionally, another 300 trees have been treated along the Colorado mainstem from Castle Creek to Potash. Through WRI funding we can continue these treatments and extend the project to cover Russian Olives between Dewey and Potash on the Colorado River as well as trees within Labyrinth Canyon on the Green River. At all the identified restoration areas throughout the river corridor, a phased approach is planned for denser stands of tamarisk, removing no more than 30% of the non-native trees during this phase, leaving at least 60% of the existing vegetation and associated multi-storied canopy intact. This phased approach allows for better shading and cooler surface temperatures to promote passive restoration of native vegetation as well as habitat benefits for bird species. Crews will cut strips through thick tamarisk stands equaling nearly 30% of the total stand. These strips will then be seeded in the winter, and trees/shrubs will be planted in the fall. Tamarisk and Russian Olive will be cut into pieces no longer than four feet and piled in compact piles to ensure pile combustion. This will be done under supervision from staff affiliated with FFSL, BLM or NPS to ensure quality work is completed. In areas that will be unnecessary or difficult to burn, piles will be built for wildlife benefit, or slash will be lopped and scattered throughout the site area. Due to the remote nature of the watershed, most of the work will be completed by crews hiking in to the areas using leave-no-trace principles carrying all equipment in to each site from the nearest road. Likely, 4x4 vehicles will be needed to access the roads throughout the area. Additionally, some project sites will be located in remote canyon areas only accessible by boat (Labyrinth Canyon or river right on the Colorado). Boats will be provided by the NPS and FFSL to ensure safe access by crew members. When located in canyon wilderness areas, the crew will always have a Delorme InReach satellite receiver with them to make an SOS call if needed. Crews will focus on the removal of tamarisk in high use areas, and areas with native trees such as oak, cottonwoods, netleaf hackberries and willows. These areas are being targeted to reduce fire risk, and promote the expansion of native vegetation and wildlife habitat. The removal of tamarisk from underneath cottonwood groves will promote the expansion of cottonwoods, and reduce the fire risk. Areas of high recreational use are at risk of human caused fire, which will damage native vegetation habitat areas; therefore these areas will also be targeted. In order to ensure a healthy riparian cottonwood gallery forest in the future, we must now begin planting cottonwoods and other species of trees along the river. Natural recruitment of cottonwoods and other tree species along the large river systems throughout the desert southwest is extremely limited due to water regime manipulation and encroachment of non-native saltcedar and Russian Olives. We must act now to plant trees throughout these areas if we want healthy gallery forests in the future. We also recognize that diversity is important, and will include a seed mix (attached) and other tree species such as netleaf hackberry and box elder as well as shrubs such as fourwing saltbush, New Mexico Privet, and Threeleaf Sumac. All trees planted will be irrigated throughout at least the first three years of their life at least. Irrigation systems will be built using 50 gallon rain barrels and PVC tubes. These rain barrels will be set up throughout the river corridor at all planting sites, and an ammo-can will be placed at each site with information on how to help us water these trees and interpretive information about this restoration project and the desert riparian ecosystem. Visitors will be encouraged to help us water the trees, fill out a watering log and become a Colorado River restoration steward. FFSL has partnered with the Moab Valley Multicultural Center, American Whitewater, the Utah Guides and Outfitters and BEACON afterschool program to organize tree plantings next fall. By involving multiple organizations and community members we can help educate community members about the river and inspire them to become stewards of this outstanding natural resource. All interpretive materials will be translated into English and Spanish to promote inclusivity and diversity through WRI funding to help pay for interpretive materials, as outlined in the finance section. The following areas are included in this proposal, and are shown in the map associated with this proposal. Each area below includes a brief statement elaborating on work to be completed in each location. Re-Treatment Areas: Goose Island/ Locals Beach Revegetation efforts at the fuel break upstream of Goose Island Campground, in the Goose Island Campground and at Locals Beach would continue with a focus on establishing trees, forbs and grasses to complement prior revegetation efforts and ensure a local seed and pollinator source for native plants. This work would involve temporary irrigation, weed control and additional plantings and seedings. Educational signs would be installed at each area, and collaboration with volunteers and visitors would be established to water plants more frequently. North Shore Lion's Park The area was re-treated in 2016, all tamarisk re-sprouts were removed from 13 acres of the bottom and trees/shrubs were planted. Inevitably there will be re-sprouts from the work completed here last fall, and a crew could spend time basal bark treating the re-sprouts. With assistance from WRI funding this year, additional re-sprouts can be removed on the upper end of the site (5 acres) as well as more trees/shrubs planted in order to ensure a healthy cottonwood gallery forest in the future. This upper area was last treated in 2009. Negro Bill Island/Mouth of Canyon The island was first treated in 2014, all tamarisk was removed from the downstream end of the island and piles were burned. In 2015, the remaining tamarisk was removed from the island in the thicker areas. Since then, there have been a significant amount of re-sprouts of tamarisk on the island that could be treated with help from WRI. The mouth of the canyon was treated with help from FFSL in the past, and is now a thick area of kochia. This is an excellent place to try planting some willow poles deep in the soil, and to try and establish some cottonwood trees along with an irrigation system. The area could also be mowed several times throughout the year to combat the kochia in an attempt to allow native grasses to establish which will be seeded in the winter of 2016/2017. WRI therefore could fund retreatments on the island and onshore area, mowing of kochia later in the season, building and installing an irrigation system and plant materials for establishment of cottonwood trees on the onshore area. Courthouse Wash and Sevenmile Canyon Over 180 Russian Olive trees were removed from the Courthouse Wash watershed last year on state lands, and an additional 20 acres of tamarisk was thinned. Re-sprouts in these areas are inevitable and could be treated with help from WRI funds. Additional areas may be treated along with this funding as well, as indicated in the next section of this document. Additionally, crews in the fall of 2016 worked in Sevenmile Wash helping the BLM with re-sprouts from previously funded WRI projects, and this area could be treated again with WRI funds to ensure ongoing maintenance of this project and continued success. Negro Bill Canyon Tamarisk removal efforts in Negro Bill Canyon were initiated in 2007. These sites have been retreated several times since then, but there are still some trees to be treated. There are also Russian Olive trees to be girdled and other invasives to be removed including Catalpa and Chinese Elm. Ravenna Grass is a relatively new invasive plant in Negro Bill Canyon which can be controlled if treated early enough. (this area is covered under the programmatic EA, probably needs to be included in a DNA with other new treatments). Curtis Island (Green River) This area was burned in April of 2015 and was subsequently seeded with native seeds in November of 2015 by DWR and FFSL, and an additional 50 cottonwood and box elder trees were planted the following spring with a drip irrigation system. In the fall of 2016, all of the project area was treated for tamarisk and Russian Olive re-sprouts. With funding from WRI we can continue treating re-sprouts from 40 acres of a burned area and ensure that this area regrows as native vegetation rather than a thicket of Tamarisk and Russian Olive. Additional cottonwood and willow can be planted by pole-planting which negates the need for irrigation, using material on site. Jackson Bottom Multiple partners have worked to improve habitat on this 65-acre parcel since 2010, with some previous WRI funding. Significant number of re-sprouts of tamarisk remains to be treated with herbicide to ensure success of previous bullhog clearing of tamarisk. A one-quarter mile section of the river remains inaccessible to wildlife and would benefit from cutting of strips through the tamarisk thickets and seeding and planting of saltgrass and willows in new clearings. New Restoration/Treatment Areas: North Shore Lion's Park The upper-most area of the bottom has never been treated and an additional 5 acres of tamarisk and Russian olive work can be completed here. After removing 'strips' of non-native woody species we can replant areas with native riparian species and irrigate these plantings so they grow up in the protected shade environments of the still remaining tamarisk which will be cut out over the subsequent years after the sheltered native vegetation is established over time. WRI funding could allow FFSL to remove 5 more acres of tamarisk on the upper end of the site, and replant the area with native species. Courthouse & Sevenmile Washes With WRI funding we can continue treating areas within Courthouse Wash. This year we'd like to focus some crew time on NPS lands lower in the wash, and continue to thin tamarisk stands higher in the watershed on State and Private lands. Additionally, crews can spend time in Sevenmile Wash on BLM lands. We'd also like to plant 100 cottonwood trees in the wash this year in areas that were cleared last year through WRI funding. Bull Canyon FFSL proposed to the BLM last year to remove tamarisk from Bull Canyon with a focus on creating better fish habitat in the canyon area. The BLM did not want to pursue this project last year due to legal questions on property ownership, but is willing to collaborate through a WRI partnership this year. The original plan for Bull Canyon is attached as a separate document to this WRI proposal. Colorado River Daily Restoration (Cloudburst Rapid, Whites Rapid area) Due to insufficient natural recruitment potential for Cottonwood trees on the mainstem desert river systems in our area, it is important to be proactive in ensuring that Cottonwood gallery forests will persist into the future. The only way to ensure this is to confront the reality that natural recruitment will be ineffective at replacing many of the older cottonwood trees we have on the mainstem today. Cottonwood trees are vital to many river users including both wildlife and human visitors. With WRI funding we can plant cottonwood trees along the high use recreation corridors on the Colorado River to ensure that river recreationists have shade in the future, and that wildlife can utilize these tree canopies as habitat as well. There are two areas on the Colorado Daily stretch that are identified as good candidates for restoration potential by the USGS's Colorado River Conservation Planning study, at Cloudburst and whites rapids. Labyrinth Canyon Sites These areas were chosen because there are large cottonwood trees that exist here now, surrounded by extremely thick tamarisk trees. There are campsites immediately adjacent to both areas that see a fair bit of traffic each year. Last year a propane tank exploded in Trin Alcove, a camp in labyrinth canyon, and burned about an acre of riparian cottonwood forest. It is important to start clearing tamarisk from the cottonwood trees here, and to start planting trees to exist here in the future. UCC will come in to these areas and clear 30% of the thick tamarisk from around the cottonwoods, and in the fall we will organize a volunteer trip along with local outfitters and partnering nonprofit organizations to plant more native trees and set up irrigation systems and informational ammo-box materials to inspire visitors to the canyon to help water the trees and ensure their survival.
Monitoring will be conducted as part of this project to evaluate the success of the treatments and to evaluate any additional treatment needs. Monitoring efforts will be conducted prior to treatment, immediately after treatment, several times over a one year period after treatment and several years later. Baseline data collection will be accomplished in the spring and summer including water quality sampling in coordination with UDWQ, macro-invertebrates sampling using National Aquatic Monitoring Center protocols, shallow ground water monitoring, soil sampling, vegetation transects, insects and small mammal trapping, and climate monitoring (rain, air temp, soil temp, etc). Local researchers may conduct bird surveys in coordination with UDWR staff. Other monitoring efforts include assessing which treatments were most successful in order to improve treatment techniques over time. An initial monitoring report will be completed after treatment implementation. Rim to Rim Restoration has been collecting vegetation response data at tamarisk and olive removal sites along the main-stem Colorado River periodically since 2007. Many of the publicly owned sites and one private site have not had data collected since 2012, so collection in 2017, is time sensitive. There are 19 transects to run at locations from the Potash burn site on both sides of the river up to Ida Gulch and the DOT pile. The SE Utah Riparian Partnership will likely assist with funding for data analysis and reporting, so that by middle of 2018, the data and some simple analysis can be used by land managers. This work will compliment monitoring work underway by BLM. BLM monitoring will consist of randomly located vegetation transects with the purpose of measuring both overstory and understory vegetation change. Measurements will include line-point intercept cover, tree density, species richness, and seeded species frequency using BLM's Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM) protocols. Repeat photographs will also be taken. A sample monitoring report from Rim to Rim Restoration is available upon request, the file was too large to upload to the WRI database at this time. A report will be generated from monitoring data collected and funded through this WRI proposal, as outlined above.
Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands; Sovereign Lands- The Division will assist through in kind labor working with crews on the ground, as well as project planning and monitoring support. The Division is seeking some funds from WRI to assist in paying for a seasonal's time to further assist in administering this grant in leading conservation crews, as well as to pay for conservation crew time on State Sovereign Lands. FFSL has committed ample amount of time in helping to write and plan for this grant and the work to be completed throughout the watershed area. Bureau of Land Management- The BLM Canyon Country District is fully involved with this project and restoration effort. The following BLM programs have supported and contributed to this project; Fire & Fuels, NEPA, GIS, Archaeology, Wildlife, Hydrology & Water Quality, Riparian, Botany, Weeds, Range and Recreation. Additionally Fire & Fuels crews will help implement tamarisk removal and restoration work. The Weeds program will contribute time and herbicide for noxious weed control. National Park Service- The National Park Service is supportive of the project and some NPS lands are included in the proposal along the Colorado River in Arches National Park. The NPS river program will also provide boats to be used to access restoration areas in labyrinth canyon and along the Colorado River daily section. Rim to Rim Restoration (non-profit)- Rim to Rim Restoration (RRR) is involved in ongoing vegetation monitoring throughout the watershed area and has provided expertise in riparian restoration design and planning. RRR will use WRI funding from this project to continue data collection for long term vegetation monitoring transects along the Colorado River and assist the land agency partners in planning restoration projects and non-native tree removal throughout the watershed area, RRR has many years of experience and expertise to contribute to this project. Plateau Restoration Inc. (non-profit)- Plateau Restoration Inc. (PRI) will use WRI funding from this project to complete work at Jackson Bottom as well as install irrigation systems at multiple re-vegetation areas on the Colorado and Green Rivers. Additionally PRI will continue working at the Curtis Island Restoration area just south of Swasey's Boat Ramp on the Green River with funding from WRI. Grand County Weed Department- This local agency conducts re-treatments of tamarisk and herbaceous weeds, as well as provides technical assistance (e.g. sharing findings from biological control monitoring) to inform restoration work. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources- This state agency provides technical assistance (e.g. surveying for side-channel project) and monitors the avian community along the UT-portion of the Colorado and Green Rivers to increase understanding of how restoration affects bird and aquatic species. American Whitewater This nonprofit river advocacy group is helping FFSL to organize a volunteer event in the fall to plant native tree species along the Colorado River. BEACON Afterschool Program This local Moab nonprofit organization has partnered with FFSL in the past to promote environmental education to local Moab youth. Within this proposal/project BEACON will help with the aforementioned fall volunteer event, and will also work with FFSL to develop environmental education curriculum to inspire local youth about riparian ecology and river functions. Moab Valley Multicultural Center This local nonprofit will also be participating and helping to recruit volunteers at the fall event, and will hopefully provide some food for this event. Additionally, the center will translate all interpretive materials in English and Spanish to promote diversity and inclusivity to river users.
Future Management:
The project is a multi-year effort that will require follow up re-vegetation and treatments to control remaining infestations of priority non-native invasive plant species such as tamarisk, Russian olive, and Russian knapweed. Second entry will be required to remove the remaining 30-60% of invasive species and apply herbicide to stumps and any re-sprouting invasive vegetation. Additionally passive restoration is a by-product of tamarisk removal and has shown impressive recruitment of willow in the annual floodplains. In addition to passive restoration and willow recruitment we will be seeding and planting trees in the removal sites each year of the project's duration. As outlined in the methods section, all partners will be revisiting each site for the next several years to continue tamarisk removal efforts. This year, the goal is to remove 30% of the tamarisk at each identified project area by cutting strips through the stand to serve as nursery shelters for native plants. Those areas will be planted, and seeded this fall and follow up is absolutely necessary to ensure the highest survival rate of planted trees. All trees planted have a three year watering schedule, as outlined in methods. We will greatly rely on volunteers and river boaters to water many of the trees planted. This method has been shown to be successful in Ruby Horsethief and Westwater canyons in the past. We plan on submitting a collaborative proposal each year in the foreseeable future. Last year's Courthouse Wash proposal was the first of many collaborative restoration projects to be set forth by the partners within the Moab Area. This year is a continuation in that effort, and future management opportunities abound. With continued support from WRI all sites will have 30% of tamarisk removed each year, resprouts will be treated, herbaceous secondary weeds will be eradicated and more native species will be planted and previous plantings will be maintained. This continual approach will ensure the highest success of these restoration areas. The long-term goal is to restore riparian and floodplain habitats along the MCRB in a manner that creates diverse riparian communities comprised primarily of native plant species as a means of improving the condition and resiliency of riparian and aquatic habitats. By promoting native vegetation throughout the river corridor, it is anticipated that this will support more complex channel habitats and promote channel dynamicism in the future. The Tamarisk Coalition and SE UT Riparian Partnership are fully committed to provide resources through federal, state and non-profit organization support for the long-term success of this project. As with this project, any future project budgets will be supplemented by agency money as well as WRI funds.
Sustainable Uses of Natural Resources:
Livestock will benefit from the proposed project by having fewer noxious weeds in the area to compete with and more palatable vegetation. As the targeted treatment of the noxious weeds continues into future years the river system would be expected to see the native herbaceous understory increase allowing for more forage for livestock. In addition to, the treatment areas of tamarisk along the Green and Colorado Rivers would allow access for the livestock to water along the rivers. Currently, there are cattle that graze within the Courthouse Wash area on state lands. These cattle will benefit from the reduction of tamarisk and Russian olive and continued treatment of herbaceous noxious weeds within the project area. Grazing permits from FFSL are active throughout the project area and livestock forage will be increased through seeding and distribution will benefit from further access to the area. Additionally, areas along the Colorado and Green Rivers have grazing permits from the BLM and will benefit from better access to water as well as the added benefit from treatment of herbaceous noxious weeds as mentioned before. The removal of tamarisk and Russian knapweed is expected to greatly benefit domestic livestock in three ways. First, it will facilitate the reestablishment of perennial grasses, native forbs, and shrubs that have much higher forage value than tamarisk. Past knapweed treatments within the project area have led to rapid reestablishment of perennial grasses, even in the absence of seeding. However, targeted broadcast seeding will be used to accelerate recolonization of native grasses in selected areas where native grasses are sparse in habitat adjacent to the treatment site. Second, control of tamarisk can make managing livestock easier. Previously dense stands of tamarisk that have either been removed or thinned (depending on site-conditions) increase access for ranchers to monitor and manage cattle on public allotments. Therefore grazing and animal distribution will increase since more river bank is accessible for watering livestock and wildlife. Third, Russian knapweed is known to be toxic to horses, potentially causing facial paralysis, malnutrition, dehydration, and necrosis (USDA Agr Info Bulletin Number 415). Controlling this noxious weed will reduce the potential for these and other livestock health issues.
Budget WRI/DWR Other Budget Total In-Kind Grand Total
$262,920.00 $20,000.00 $282,920.00 $60,360.00 $343,280.00
Item Description WRI Other In-Kind Year
Seed (not from GBRC) FFSL has some discretionary seed mix also available for in-kind contribution (also found under seed mix). $0.00 $0.00 $3,060.00 2018
Personal Services (seasonal employee) Time for FFSL seasonal to assist in leading crews throughout the fall season (Mid September-Mid November) $3,600.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Contractual Services BLM Contribution to pay for UCC Crews (from WRI/BLM Canyon Country account). $50,000.00 $0.00 $10,000.00 2018
Contractual Services FFSL Sovereign Lands will contribute $20,000 toward a UCC crew and equipment use. $0.00 $20,000.00 $0.00 2018
Materials and Supplies locally sourced plant materials for re-vegetating tamarisk removal areas, including but not limited to cottonwoods, netleaf hackberry, box elders, new mexico privet, fourwing saltbush and three leaf sumac (Rim to Rim $4,000). Cost shared by FFSL 50% $4,000.00 $0.00 $4,000.00 2018
Contractual Services Lone Peak Fire Crews $100,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Materials and Supplies Ammo Cans (for interpretive materials) Printing costs for interpretive materials Translation Fee for Interpretive Materials (from Moab Valley Multicultural Center) Development of interpreative materials $1,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Materials and Supplies Aquaneat Herbicide from FFSL $0.00 $0.00 $900.00 2018
Personal Services (permanent employee) FFSL Sovereign Lands Coordinator's time leading/training crews and contract administration $0.00 $0.00 $7,500.00 2018
Contractual Services Utah Conservation Corps (UCC)--two eight person crews for the duration of the fall UCC season (balance after contributions from FFSL and BLM) ($) =Waved USU indirect cost and volunteer time of AmeriCorps Member $67,000.00 $0.00 $13,400.00 2018
Other Support nonprofit partners in enviro-ed and transportation to bring at-risk youth and immigrant/ESL families to assist in restoration plantings in fall 2018 (partnering with the Moab Valley Multicultural Center and BEACON after-school program) $1,500.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Contractual Services Funding for Plateau Restoration Inc. for planning, college volunteer leadership, follow-up, monitoring, and administration/reporting, including travel and materials at Jackson Bottom and Green River restoration sites $5,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Personal Services (permanent employee) Time for 3 fire wardens and FFSL WUI coordinator to remove tamarisk and russian olive from Castle Creek. $4,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Contractual Services Rim to Rim Restoration will collect data at 9 public and 1 private removal sites along the Mainstem where data has been collected periodically since 2007. SE Utah Partnership funding will help with data analysis and distribution $4,910.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Contractual Services FFSL will contract the Grand County and Emery County weed departments to spray invasive noxious weeds throughout the river corridor and will instruct the departments to spend extra time/attention at identified restoration areas. $0.00 $0.00 $20,000.00 2018
Materials and Supplies Soil Amendments such as mycorrhizae bacteria or mulch $500.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Contractual Services Cottonwood Seed Collection by Rim to Rim Restoration $1,000.00 $0.00 $1,500.00 2018
Contractual Services Seed collection and production of local native oak trees (Rim to Rim) $1,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Materials and Supplies Irrigation system supplies and installation $7,500.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Seed (GBRC) $6,910.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Contractual Services Weeding and watering for sites recently treated and planted along HWY 128 adjacent to the CO River (Rim to Rim). $5,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Funding WRI/DWR Other Funding Total In-Kind Grand Total
$265,820.00 $20,001.00 $285,821.00 $60,090.00 $345,911.00
Source Phase Description Amount Other In-Kind Year
BLM HLI Southeastern N6566 $50,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Utah Division of Forestry, Fire & State Lands (FFSL) $0.00 $20,000.00 $46,690.00 2018
DNR Watershed N3622 $2,820.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) N6462 $50,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Utah Conservation Corps ($) =Waved USU indirect cost and volunteer time of AmeriCorps Member $0.00 $0.00 $13,400.00 2018
BLM Fuels (Canyon Country) N6467 $100k from Mod 8. $160,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) NS6524 $3,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Plateau Restoration $0.00 $1.00 $0.00 2018
Rim to Rim Restoration Funds and time spent assisting with project coordination and partner collaboration in addition to vegetation response monitoring efforts. $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 2018
Species "N" Rank HIG/F Rank
Bighorn Sheep N4 R2
Threat Impact
Not Listed NA
Bluehead Sucker N4
Threat Impact
Invasive Plant Species – Non-native Medium
Colorado Pikeminnow N1
Threat Impact
Invasive Plant Species – Non-native Medium
Flannelmouth Sucker N3
Threat Impact
Invasive Plant Species – Non-native Medium
Humpback Chub N1
Threat Impact
Invasive Plant Species – Non-native Low
Wild Turkey R1
Threat Impact
Inappropriate Fire Frequency and Intensity Medium
Wild Turkey R1
Threat Impact
Invasive Wildlife Species – Non-native Medium
Northern Leopard Frog N5
Threat Impact
Invasive Plant Species – Non-native Medium
Southwestern Willow Flycatcher N1
Threat Impact
Invasive Plant Species – Non-native High
Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo N3
Threat Impact
Problematic Plant Species – Native Wetland High
Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo N3
Threat Impact
Riparian Campground Development Low
Threat Impact
Camping (Dispersed) Low
Threat Impact
Channelization / Bank Alteration (direct, intentional) High
Threat Impact
Droughts High
Threat Impact
Invasive Plant Species – Non-native Medium
Threat Impact
Fire and Fire Suppression Medium
Desert Grassland
Threat Impact
Invasive Plant Species – Non-native High
Threat Impact
Camping (Dispersed) Low
Threat Impact
Channel Downcutting (indirect, unintentional) High
Threat Impact
Invasive Plant Species – Non-native Medium
Project Comments
Comment 01/09/2017 Type: 1 Commenter: Eli Tome
A note on the focus area--the database says that 12 acres of the proposed project falls outside of WRI focus areas, however I think this is only due to drawing error. For example, when you zoom in to negro bill canyon, the actual canyon riparian area has sliver polygons located outside of the WRI focus area. This is a minor GIS error in the drawing of the focus areas, not a project proposal outside of a focus area. Ranking members please explore the map before taking away points from that category.
Comment 01/17/2017 Type: 1 Commenter: Scott Gibson
I'm encouraged to see revegetation as a big component of this project. Removal of tamarisk and Russian olive in itself will have little if any short-term positive impact for birds so the revegetation component is important.
Comment 01/17/2017 Type: 1 Commenter: Jason Kirks
Yes, riparian restoration is the key phrase for this project. Tamarisk removal through a phased approach allowing native vegetation to reestablish by seeding, planting and passive restoration. Lessons learned from riparian treatments over the past ten years are helping design more successful aquatic projects.
Comment 01/24/2017 Type: 1 Commenter: Clint Wirick
I like the phased approach of 30% removal creating nursery areas for native plants and the focus of removal around existing native plants rather than clear cutting and creating a desertscape that is extremely difficult to restore. I also like that glyphosate is the chemical of choice on the RO. Great collaborative big picture project proposal.
Comment 01/24/2017 Type: 1 Commenter: Eli Tome
Thank you Clint. We agree that this phased approach is most effective and important for creating restoration areas, rather than barren salt flats or fields of invasive weeds. I've also recently learned more about chemical for RO treatments, and we will also be adding a surfactant to all treatments to get a better result.
Comment 06/11/2018 Type: 1 Commenter: Jason Kirks
Hi All, Wanted to check on the status of this project, specifically has everyone completed their portions of the river and is there anything that was not complete. Also please start to fill in the completion form for the areas that you may have completed. I'm not planning on any carryover for this since round 2 is funded. Thanks!
Comment 01/12/2017 Type: 2 Commenter: Danny Summers
Most available showy goldeneye seed comes from higher elevations, which may not be a good match for this site.
Comment 01/12/2017 Type: 2 Commenter: Eli Tome
Thanks Danny, this species was important for us to add for pollinators and bird species but was also very expensive. If it's collected from higher elevations it likely won't do well on the river anyway, I'll update our seed mix and take this out and replace it with fourwing saltbush. Thanks,
Comment 08/21/2018 Type: 2 Commenter: Alison Whittaker
This is just a reminder that completion reports are due August 31st. I have entered the expenses in the Through WRI/DWR column on the finance page. Please do not make any changes to numbers in the Through WRI/DWR column. Any "Through Other" or "In-kind" expenses will need to be entered by the PM or contributors. Be sure to click on the finalize button on the completion report when you have your completion report ready to be reviewed by WRI Admin. Don't forget to upload any pictures of the project you have of before, during and after completion. Thanks.
Start Date:
End Date:
FY Implemented:
Final Methods:
RIM TO RIM RESTORATION WORK: Monitoring data collection was completed at all Colorado River sites in summer 2017. Fall 2017 and early spring 2018 were spent collating and organizing data, creating summary tables and graphs and generating an interim report on the 10 year data set. Cottonwood seeds and Oak seeds were collected in 2017 and are growing. Plants from past year's seed collection were provided for projects as needed in this grant cycle, and the plants started from 2017s seeds will be ready fall 2018 and later for planting in the region. PLATEAU RESTORATION (PRI): Restoration work continued at Jackson Bottom with weed removal, clearing of wildlife routes and transplanting native grasses. Sites still lacking in native vegetation were selected for transplanting of Saltgrass and Alkali Sacaton collected from healthy stands in the site. One area selected was in recently chain-sawed narrow swaths in mature tamarisk thickets near the river bank. Kochia that had since invaded these swaths was cleared in September, 2017, before kochia dropped its seed. Three other areas selected were more xeric sites where seeding had been unsuccessful. Planting was done with volunteers in November and again in March. Most transplants were watered once again in May and in June. Volunteers also assisted with removing fallen Tamarisk from clearings where native vegetation had become established, in order to keep access routes open through the Tamarisk and to the river. A total of 220 volunteer hours were contributed to Jackson Bottom work in FY 2018. PRI staff identified areas of Russian Knapweed and coordinated with Grand County Weed Department to spray a half-acre with Milestone in early October, 2017. Grand County was also contracted for basal bark spraying of Tamarisk resprouts with Triclopyr 4 herbicide in approximately 2.5 acres of the lower end of the site in February, 2018. PRI staff sprayed Russian Thistle over approximately 1.5 acres with Escort herbicide in late May, 2018. A monitoring summary was prepared and is attached as "Jackson Bottom Monitoring FY 2018.pdf". All pictures in the document were taken in mid-August, 2018. BLM Fire Crews worked on the Kane Creek side of the river from Kings Bottom towards the Matheson Preserve. Dying tamarisk was cut down and piled for burning. Near Kings Bottom crews utilized a chipper instead of burn piles. Piles of tamarisk were burned on May 20th by BLM Crews. Lone Peak Fire crews worked on the Pot Ash side of the river for three weeks thinning with chainsaws and stacking the slash into piles near the water for burning before high water. The crews cleared from MM13 to JC Park. UCC/BLM Rec & Aquatics/FFSL: Work was outsourced to Utah Conservation Corps crews who worked in the fall along the mainstem from Hittle Bottom Recreation Area to the Moab Town Boat Ramp. Tamarisk was removed at selected sites using targeted methods of releasing native vegetation through incremental invasive reduction and the creation of fuel breaks. Material was either made into habitat piles for potential future burning as conditions warrant, for lopped and scattered in areas was recreational interest was unwanted. Follow-up treatments for White top, Knapweed, & Thistle were completed the following spring by FFSL/Grand Co. personnel.
Project Narrative:
RIM TO RIM RESTORATION WORK: Rim to Rim helped to coordinate project work throughout the project period, assisting with consistency across jurisdictional boundaries and also assisting with technical oversight as needed. Based on this success of this effort, a joint proposal was put together for FY 2019 that is underway now. In addition to project management work RRR collected monitoring data at 15 Colorado River sites, and worked with FFSL and BLM towards a longer term geodatabase project to assist with long term tracking of project success/failure and lessons learned. Rim to Rim continues to grow seed and plant materials from locally sourced seed and cuttings to be available for work in this area. Varieties include cottonwood, black willow, coyote willow, yellow willow, three leaf sumac, new mexico privet, baccaris, four wing saltbush, and various locally occurring grasses and forbs. In addition, RRR is testing several annual forbs at the Mayberry Native Plant Propagation Center for viability to produce for seeding at project sites as well as testing establishment methods. PLATEAU RESTORATION: The 67-acre Jackson Bottom on the Colorado River, near the Potash boat ramp, has been the target of tamarisk removal and restoration since 2010 by PRI and its partners, Grand County, Utah DNR, and USFWS. PRI targets college students as volunteers for much of the labor, most of who are majoring in Natural Resources. As one of the larger private land parcels on the Colorado River in Utah, this area has been set aside for wildlife habitat. The site was initially bull-hogged to remove most tamarisk. Clearings within remaining Tamarisk were either bull-hogged or chain-sawed to create wildlife routes to the river and create sheltered areas for re-establishment of native vegetation. Seeding with saltgrass, alkali sacaton, saltbush, beeplant, and sunflower has had good results especially within clearings in the Tamarisk. Planting of grasses using Tamarisk to provide shade from the SW have been particularly successful. Cottonwoods planted in the lower end of the site have now become established. Russian Knapweed and Perennial Pepperweed persist in the site but do not appear to be spreading. Although continuation of work had been proposed at the Curtis Island Farm Fire on the Green River, a herd of cattle was staged in the site in Fall, 2017, causing significant damage to plantings and the irrigation system. Our partner, FFSL decided to postpone further work at this site beyond FY 2018. BLM Portion; The Kane Creek and Pot Ash sides of the River had abundant native vegetation growing under dead stands of Tamarisk. Native plants began to flourish in spring after tamarisk was removed. Piles of slashed tamarisk were placed near the water line and were burned before the water levels rose. After the water rose in spring the remnant ash from the burned piles was washed away. Some piles that were higher on the bank started to spread fire through the adjacent vegetation. These locations will receive follow-up rehab after all piles are burned. UCC/BLM Rec & Aquatics/FFSL: WRI 4009 was designed as an inter-agency collaboration to facilitate the most efficient use of combined resources to treat woody invasive plants within the Colorado River Watershed. 53 acres of invasive vegetation was removed or treated as part of this component of WRI 4009.
Future Management:
RIM TO RIM RESTORATION WORK: A final Vegetation Response Monitoring report with information about every project site, summary graphs and some discussion of overall trends and lessons with encouragement for continued data collection will be generated in the winter of 2018/19 in conjunction with tamarisk beetle monitoring information. Rim to Rim helped to coordinate project work throughout the project period, assisting with consistency across jurisdictional boundaries and also assisting with technical oversight as needed. Based on this success of this effort, a joint proposal was put together for FY 2019 that is underway now. PLATEAU RESTORATION: PRI has an agreement with landowner, Intrepid Potash to work on this site through 2026. Noxious weed control will be managed by Grand County Weed Department and Utah FFSL. The land owner has pledged to leave the property undeveloped and has offered to rip the road in the center of the property when it is no longer needed for the project. BLM; Work will continue for retreatment of tamarisk sprouts and secondary weed evasion. UCC/BLM Rec & Aquatics/FFSL: Restoration sites are continuing to be monitored. At present there is no evidence of Tamarisk regrowth. Although expected, knapweed recruitment is common and re-treatments are in process. Restoration sites are designed to be expanded upon as is appropriate given adequate native vegetation recruitment.
Map Features
ID Feature Category Action Treatement/Type
5748 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Vegetation Improvements Manual removal / hand crew
5828 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Herbicide application Spot treatment
5828 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Vegetation Improvements Manual removal / hand crew
5829 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Herbicide application Spot treatment
5829 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Vegetation Improvements Manual removal / hand crew
5830 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Herbicide application Spot treatment
5830 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Vegetation Improvements Manual removal / hand crew
5831 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Herbicide application Spot treatment
5831 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Vegetation Improvements Manual removal / hand crew
5877 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Herbicide application Spot treatment
5877 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Vegetation Improvements Manual removal / hand crew
5894 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Herbicide application Spot treatment
5894 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Vegetation Improvements Manual removal / hand crew
7435 Terrestrial Treatment Area Planting/Transplanting Bareroot stock
7437 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Herbicide application Spot treatment
7437 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Vegetation Improvements Manual removal / hand crew
7438 Aquatic/Riparian Treatment Area Vegetation Improvements Manual removal / hand crew
Project Map
Project Map