Welcome! Thanks for visiting my new blog, mainly focusing on natural resource issues in the greater southwest. I'll likely cover a variety of topics, ranging from geosciences, botanical and wildlife science, to environmental regulation, with an occasional rant on SW politics and women's issues.
In my first post, I'd like to give kudos to Dave Rosgen, Bill Zeedyk and all their philosophical adherents. These folks have done a lot to find ways of effecting bank stabilization and river/creek channel restoration without making it look like an explosion of concrete and rebar (or gabion baskets, just as bad in my book). I've seen at least a few of these structures get installed in AZ, NM, and CO and they seem to be working well to provide areas for riparian regrowth and increased fish habitat (where appropriate).
Zeedyk seems to be the only one that I know of (I'm sure there are more) who works on smaller intermittent and ephemeral systems. One of the nicest I've seen is along Ganado Wash near the Hubbell Trading Post in AZ. He used post and other structures in the wash to effect stabilization/aggradation which, in turn, provided ample opportunity for riparian revegetation. I'm pretty sure that the structures helped effect greater infiltration to the water table, as well. Aesthetically, the whole scene is very pleasing. Unless you know exactly what you're looking for, you would have no idea that any restoration had taken place in the wash. It's probably come fairly close to looking like (and more importantly, functioning like) it's pre-Columbian condition.
I like Zeedyk's general approach to restoration (and rural road building/maintenance for better/more natural water distribution to the land surface). He takes a low-tech approach, mainly looking for the easiest and cheapest ways to conduct the channel work, primarily using hand labor. Most of the restorations I've seen or read about were installed by hand using small structures or rock placement. I've included a link to the Zeedyk/Quivira Coalition's publication http://quiviracoalition.org/Detailed/QC_Publications/Field_Guides/An_Introduction_to_I..._82.html
Send me your favorite restoration, and I'll post a description and a photo here on OHWM. Please be sure to give credit where credit is due. We need to thank the folks who do this work and make sure to pass the word around so more restoration like this gets done!