S.F. Elk River Road Erosion Assessment and Restoration Planning Project

South Fork Elk River
South Fork Elk River

Pacific Watershed Associates conducted a sediment source road inventory and developed a restoration plan for the road network in the Headwaters Forest Reserve within the S.F. Elk River watershed (Project Area)

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
Humboldt County, California
Project Lead (s): 
Chris Herbst
Project Video: 
SF Elk Road Decommissioning

This assessment project consisted of a field inventory of all roads identified in an air photo analysis of the Project area.  The roads and former railroad grades in this watershed had previously been constructed for timber management and many were in a state of disrepair or had been completely abandoned for a decade or more. The assessment sought to identify all existing and potential road-related sediment sources.  These included potential and developing fillslope failures, stream crossings (including failing bridges and culverts), diverted streams and long lengths of poorly drained roads and ditches. At sites of future erosion and sediment delivery, generalized treatment prescriptions were developed for cost effective erosion prevention and erosion control.  The inventory identified 355 sediment delivery sites on more than 30 miles of road in the project area.  In addition to the sediment source inventory, the road network was surveyed and a comprehensive restoration plan generated, which included estimates of excavation volumes, heavy equipment requirements and labor needs, and materials lists for complete restoration.  The final report included the results of the sediment source inventory, as well as a prioritized schedule for road restoration based on the sensitivity of the fisheries, the potential for sediment delivery, the volume of expected sediment delivery, and estimated treatment costs and an evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of each proposed treatment.  An estimate of the total cost of implementing all erosion control and restoration work in the project area was included.

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