This project addressed the issue of abandoned floodplains on reaches of Dutch Flat Creek and North Fork Ash Creek that cross the ranch. These streams were channelized decades ago for agricultural purposes. Downcutting and lateral erosion of the channel began and continues today. This in turn increased runoff rates and dried what was once a wet meadow.
On the Dutch Flat Creek reach, the project built on the natural tendency of the stream to widen much of the gully and create an inset floodplain surface for the dissipation of flood flows. The goal was to speed the natural recovery and create a stable stream system that mimics stable natural conditions in most ways except width of floodplain and water surface elevation. This plan did not restore the historic groundwater elevations. It did, however, provide a more stable natural stream channel and conveyed flood flows below the historic floodplain without risk to structural improvements or ranch operations. The Species benefiting from habitat improvements include redband rainbow trout (Calif. sensitive species), Modoc sucker (Federally listed endangered species), waterfowl and various neotropical migrant birds. This project was funded by Proposition 13, EPA 319h, and USFWS Partners for Fish and Wildlife funds.