Volunteers Help Westlope Cutthroat and Bull Trout
Our Community Engagement Grant is designed to support stewardship groups in their efforts to mobilize volunteers’ work on fish and wildlife projects. The Elk River Alliance did just that in the fall of 2016, in their work to stabilize the streambank alongside Lizard Creek that feeds into the Elk River.
While many hands make light work, this work was far from easy, especially given the wet, soggy weather they had to endure. Over the course of two days in October 2016, trenches were dug, cottonwood and willow cuttings were collected and planted, top soil was laid, and native grass seed was spread. The majority of volunteers were new for the Elk River Alliance, and came out specifically to learn about how bank stabilization works.
As the plants get established in the years ahead, the steam bank will become stabilized and rill erosion – the removal of soil by streamlets – will be reduced. The vegetation will help improve water quality and shading of the stream, and improve habitat for threatened Westslope Cutthroat and Bull Trout.
This works builds on a successful Elk River Alliance pilot project, also funded by the FWCP, that restored another severely eroded riparian area of Lizard Creek in 2014.