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    Tuesday
    Oct312017

    Sacramento Side Channel is Opened Today

    After lots of planning and hard work this "side channel" - once the river had split flow around Rancherie Island - this channel was ready to be opened toda.   More on this epic salmon "rearing habitat" restoration project as the river rises and "does the remainder of the work" - cleaning itself out after over 80 years of being plugged.

    https://youtu.be/nns3YM0OeM0

    Thursday
    Oct052017

    Three Stream Projects in Three Weeks !! First one - COW CREEK

    These design/build projects have been in the works for almost 3 years!  What is both serrindipitous and stressing is that all three projects got "permitted" in August/September and have to be completed by of about November.  My staff and I have been working 8-9 hr days for weeks now!!  Its "feast or famine" as they say about construction!!

    "The Works" meaning design and permitting.  Since these projects are on creeks or rivers designated for endangered Salmon or Steelhead, the permits required include Sec 404 ACOE, NMFS, USFWS, CA DFW, Sec 206 Cultural surveys, Sec 401 Water Quality, and the County of Shasta Grading Permit!!  Just the Ordinary High Water Mark Report required about $5,000 in professional fees, the Biological Report was anothr $3000, the design was actually the least expense to the landowner.  I'm still doing the project accounting but the rock, equipment and labor was about $90,000.  The design and permitting was over $30,000.

    COW CREEK, located in Eastern Shasta County, is an incised salmon/steelhead stream that has generally downcut to the bed rock strata.  There is limited bedload available since the system has been "hydromodified" (nearly 150 years of ranching has resulted in "urbanization response" to runoff) and is suceptable to high stormflows which are now restrained in the active channel.  

    The project intended to protect the house and garage, perched atop the 30' high bank, by moving the high energy flow vectors away from the bank slightly using redirective methods ( a 20' long Bendway weir and three rock barbs), installing 280' of 4-5' high Longitudinal Stone Toe, carefully installing clean, angular, well-graded stone (that can be placed in the creek without increases in turbidity) which actually protected the existing trees and shrubs that were barely hanging onto the bed rock cracks.  

    The challenge was getting down the nearly vertical bank with excavator and then get the 600T of rock down the bank without too much dirt.

    Cow Creek during very high flows, Jan, 2017

     

    Looking down the bank at start of work, Sept 2017

    Rock was end dumped to help form a temprary ramp. Water was used to keep the rock clean.

    Lack of room between trees and shop, and the permits requirements restricted the cut to 6 ft.Building upstream bendway weir - to nudge high flows streamward280 LF of LST (5' high using self launching stone*) allows the construction of a flood terrace. The terrace was vegetated with transplants and willow poles/branches arrayed as "live eyelashes".Live Siltation, willow branches pointing outward from LST - the peak of LST at a height near Bankfull discharge elevation, provides roughness as high flows access flood terrace.

    The downstream end of project with angled tie back,Looking upstream - one can see how the well graded stone and careful installation of LST and BARBS actually protected most of the existing willows and carex. It is hoped to be easier to achieve our 70% coverage requirement.The upstream Bendway Weir is complete and we also placed some clean spawning gravel.Now we will wait for this winter's storms!!  You can bet we will be out monitoring - stay tuned for more monitoring photos.

    By the way, our new website is being planned and developed!! Expect some great changes, including the ability to download video clips, Erosion Draw, BioDraw, the complete or just individual specs from Environmentally Sensitive Streambank Stabilization (ESenSS), or even chapters from Bioengineering Case Studies, 2013, Goldsmith, Gray, and McCullah.

    Please let me know what you would like to see more of.   Cheers    John 

     

    Wednesday
    Jul192017

    BIOENGINEERING WEBINAR at IECA Learner Community

    Here is a picture of my Grandpa John McCullah and his brother Ed BIOENGINEERING the eroding banks of the Kings River, near Hanford CA, back in the 1910s !!  

    Also look at the second picture of them "checking out their work during the floods.  That is a sign of a "good practitioner", one who visits the site during storms to see what can be improved upon.


     

    At that time, little did my granpa know I'd be doing similar work a 100-years in the furture. This type of construction for slope and streambank stabilization is keenly intersting to me.  I have been designing and implementing projects with these methods for over 20 years now.  I started with the willow "live" stake, then did everything with the "willow wattle".  By the way, do you know where the term STRAW WATTLE originated ?

    Later I became interested in "Live Brush Layering".  This webinar really covers the key priciples and concepts about BIOTECHNICAL SOIL STABILIZATION that I have learned over the last 20-years.

    I have built projects using these naturally-occuring and sustainable methods in Canada, Alaska, California, Kansas, Malaysia, and New Zealand.  Learn more about Bioengineering, where and how did these evolve. 

    http://ieca.learnercommunity.com/products/1150/bioengineering-and-biotechnical-soil-stabilization

     

    Repairing a huge landslide (the "Big Sandy") in Seschelt BC back in 1999.  Using Willow Wattles and Brush-Layered Toe Wall.

     

    Did you know that Caltrans published a Manual in 1950, which detailed the use of brushlayering and willow "wattles" for building highway embankments and fill slopes.

     

     

    This highway manual was preceeded by the work of Charles Krabel, circa 1937, Landscape Architect for Forset Service in So. California.

     

     

     

     

    Learn some of the history of Bioengineering in the west.

     

    How do you build fill slope embankments steeper that the angle of repose?  Engineering principles say to mechnanically reinforce.  Learn how to combine naturally-growing materials into your desigm, biologic materials that CAN continue to grow soil reinforcing roots that help not only stabilize but also reduce pore pressure on wet slopes!

     

    This Webinar will also discuss topics in Natural Succession and the value of "mimicing" natural systems.

    This program is a must for those of you who are challenged to knowlegably offer justifications for adding bioengineering compontnets to your projects.  Also a "must" for those who want to see case studies that describe successes (and some failures) on projects that have survived the test of time.

    This webinar will be super interesting to those of you already familiar with Bioengineering but it is also intended to give you a huge "first step" into BIOENGINEERING and BIOTECHNICAL TECHNIQUES for SLOPES and STREAM BANKS.

    Hopefully you interest is piqued.  Sign up for the Webinar now and also Professional Development Units.

     

     

    Tuesday
    Jan312017

    BMPs Demonstrated at Summit provide ideas for Slide/Slope Failure Repair

    Redding received over 10" of much needed rain in January.  But all that rain and the saturated soils led to a small slope failure on the Palisades Trail.  You may remember the way we treated the "seeping" slopes two years back, with 2" compost, native grass, mycorrhizae, all reinforced in Enka Mat and then sprayed with Flexterra (known as Green Armor System) Palisades Trail update

    Well, we learned a few things at the last couple of Shasta College Summits, including some innovative uses for Compost Socks and how to use and install the Gripple Anchor System.  When Terry Hanson called and said there was a small landslide above the trail.  He informed us he had a CCC crew scheduled, very little budget, and another batch of storms were expects.  Dis we have any ideas, and could we provide a prescription. The College had some products remaining from the Summits we could probably donate, primarily in the form of Filtrexx Compost Siltsoxx and Filtrexx Compost Grosoxx and some Biaxial geogrid.  Terry had some 2010 Enka Mat.  Our prescription was to excavate the heavy failed clay material as feasible and then pack the slide face with Compost Socks.  The sock would be enveloped in Enka Mat and Geogrid and then anchored to the slope.  We decided to use the new Gripple Anchors (altogether we used about 45 anchors) system to anchor the materials to the slope and counter the outward forces.

    It was fortunate that we had both green Siltsoxx (more designed for filtration) and the Grosoxx which are designed with more of a growing medium.  Since the slide area is still draining, the green socks may aide drainage while the black growsox may do a better job growing native grasses.  We will get to follow the project through time. 

    PHOTOS WILL BE POSTED SOON 


    Friday
    Nov182016

    BMP SUMMIT - April 11th and 12th, 2017- Field Demonstrations and Trade Show

    Don't miss this years' BMP Summit at Shasta College.  This 2-day Summit is designed for both experienced and inexperienced professionals working in the Erosion Control Industry.  Whether you are an Engineer, a Contractor or construction inspector, a SWPPP plan reviewer or developer, Certified Erosion Control Specialist, or material supplier, this event will benefit you.  You will get exposed to the newest and most effective BMPs available while many manufacturers or suppliers will be on hand to answer questions. And most importantly this is an opportunity to actually join us in the field and see how BMPs should be situated and installed to ensure they are cost-effective.  This BMP Summit is a must for those "developing" Storm Water Plans, those working for City, State, and Federal agencies who review or recommend erosion and sediment control BMPs, and those who's duties are to inspect and maintain construction sites.

    You can use the event to earn continueing education credits.  The two day event will feature breakfast and lunch provided by Shasta College.  The Redding area has many affordable hotels and the Sacramento River Trail, Sudial Bridge, and downtown restaurants. There will be more information coming soon so stay tuned for more.

     

    Click here for more info


    Facility has a demonstration waterway

     

    Exhibitors will be present Gain hands on experience