Beaver: WY: Stream Restoration Plan
Muddy Creek is a tributary to North Fork Crazy Woman Creek in the Powder River drainage of northeastern Wyoming. The Patch Ranch contains 2.9 stream miles of Muddy Creek and has been fenced for over 20 years. However, without recruitment of large wood into the creek, the stream has become increasingly incised. To reverse downcutting, we propose the implementation of restoration treatments that would kickstart channel aggradation, promote riparian growth, and increase habitat heterogeneity. This project will work synergistically with other proposals to reconnect several disconnected oxbows to reduce streamflow power, and a plan to remove invasive Russian Olive from along the stream.
Structures that will be placed in Muddy Creek are those typical of “process-based” restoration: beaver dam analogs and large woody debris jams. Restoration will be completed in an adaptive framework whereby water extent, riparian health, and habitat diversity is monitored to determine the utility of each type of structure for this specific system.
Overall, a process-based restoration project is expected to alter the channel evolution of Muddy Creek from one actively downcutting to one in which riparian recovery, woody-debris recruitment, and beaver activity leads to an actively aggrading channel, floodplain reconnection, and channel branching.
Full story here.