Update April 27, 2020
The FRC continues to monitor our major project of a few years ago in which the fencing on about five miles of the river was restored with funds provided by the Fall River Conservancy, Cal Trout, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Department of Agriculture. We believe that this reach of the river has greatly benefited from the project as evidenced by the regeneration of natural plant life along the river and greatly reduced cattle incursions. It was a win-win project for the Fall River Conservancy, its supporters, the ranch, the Fall River and the valleys resources. The success of future projects are leveraged by the favorable outcome on Fall River and our Streambank restoration project.
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Our work on streambank restoration began in 2015, when we completed an assessment of bank-damage in the river and a prioritization process that looked at which sites would benefit most and be most feasible for restoration. In partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), we began working with a willing landowner on the Fall River, who was open to put in cattle exclusion fencing, stock-watering facilities and riparian planting on their property.
As of late 2016, exclusion fencing on over 4 miles of streambank has been completed and plans are underway for riparian planting to restore native vegetation along the river bank next spring. Cattle on this property now receive water from new stock watering troughs instead of the river, protecting the river banks from trampling and the cattle from getting stuck in muskrat holes and unstable banks. Streambank restoration helps improve water quality in the river by reducing sedimentation, erosion, and nutrient runoff from unstable banks.
FRC is now moving into phase 2 of the streambank restoration project, moving to the next priority property along the river. Issues on this property include severe bank degradation, muskrat holes and cattle trampling, and a lack of native vegetation. Addressing these issues will require stock watering facilities, cattle exclusion fencing, and a major revegetation effort to stabilize the streambank. We are looking forward to continuing this work which is fully part of FRC’s mission to its mission to preserve the biological, scenic, cultural and agricultural heritage of the Fall River Valley by conserving for present and future generations the Valley’s extraordinary lands, waters and wildlife resources. We strongly believe working agricultural landscapes are an integral part of the heritage and future of the Fall River Valley that need to be preserved as well.