Conservation Partnership Webinars

July 18, 2019 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Oregon Conservation Partnership webinars are the third Thursday of each month at 10:00 AM. June 18th at 10:00 AM, the Oregon Conservation Partnership presents:

“Beaver Dam Analogs and Post-Assisted Log Structures: Cost-Effective, Scalable Methods for Region-Wide Stream Restoration”

The systematic and widespread removal of large woody debris (LWD) and beaver has resulted in simplified and degraded riverscapes. Historically, large woody debris and beaver dams were ubiquitous throughout North American riverscapes. Beaver dams exert a major influence on streams by influencing hydrologic and geomorphic processes and have been shown to elevate water tables, maintain channel-floodplain connectivity, increase riparian areas, attenuate peak flows and elevate base flow, and increase sediment retention. Large woody debris has been shown to influence hydrologic and geomorphic processes in similar ways to beaver dams by creating fish habitat and spawning areas and promoting sediment and nutrient retention. The introduction of habitat structures has been practiced for at least a century, with restoration focused on the creation of discrete habitat features, often pools for fish, rather than emphasizing how structures could enable and promote processes.

However, to address the scope of degraded streams region-wide, cost-effective and scalable restoration methods are critical. The approach to restoration, the design of low-tech process-based restoration projects, described here is informed by the vision of physically complex valley bottoms and multi-thread channels described as ‘Stage 0’. We describe the design process for two types of low-tech structures, post-assisted log structures (PALS) and beaver dam analogues (BDAs). PALS are woody material of various sizes pinned together with untreated wooden posts driven into the substrate to simulate natural wood accumulations. BDAs are channel-spanning, permeable structures, with a uniform crest elevation, constructed using woody debris and fill material, to form a pond and mimic natural beaver dams. Both structure types are designed as complexes, or a group of low-tech restoration structures designed to achieve specific objectives. A complex may be composed of a single type of structure, or a mix of structure types, and consist of 2 – 15 structures.

Presented by Dr. Chris Jordan, Research Fisheries Biologist with NOAA/NMFS’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Program Manager for the Mathematical Biology and Systems Monitoring Program. 

Trained as a mathematical biologist, he has worked on a wide range of biological topics, all with an emphasis on the development or application of quantitative methods.  Recent work has focused on the design and implementation of large-scale monitoring programs to assess anadromous salmonid freshwater habitat and population status as well as the watershed-scale effect of management actions on salmonid habitat and population processes.  Current projects include the development of life-cycle simulation models to integrate knowledge on physical and biological processes into a management decision support framework and the development of methods for stream restoration focusing on bio-mimetic process-based approaches.  The research component of these projects is the development of novel methods, including sampling designs, metrics and indicators, and project design criteria to address specific data and information needs for the management of ESA listed Pacific Northwest salmonid populations.