The CSR Construction crew recently traveled to Othello, WA to complete a native tree install for the Mid-Columbia Wildlife Refuge. The area was prepared for the native trees by removing Russian Olive and Salt Cedar that had grown around the wetland habitat. Black cottonwood, aspen, and peachleaf willow were all planted to increase wildlife habitat potential. The trees also required browsing protection since the area is frequented with elk and deer. 8 foot tall fencing material will protect the newly installed trees until they are healthy and large enough to withstand some browsing. 745 trees were installed which will greatly enhance available habitat for the wildlife and waterfowl that are found here.
CSR recently finished a Restoration project at Warren Bridge along the Green River in WY. The restoration entailed the planting of 4,550 Narrow-leaf Cottonwood trees. The area was once a major travel corridor for Native Americans and Pioneers. As such, it was required by the BLM to have an archeologist on site to monitor the installation of all large class plant materials. The crew was told to watch for river cobble rocks under the sod-line surrounded by black ash. After seven days of digging hundreds of holes, they stumbled upon an old campfire site, about five inches underground. The archeologist was surprised by the find and noted the actual age of the campfire ring would be impossible to know without carbon-dating. He surmised that it could be a campfire from settlers, but more likely a Native American campground.
The 18th annual Thousand Springs Festival of the Arts was held this past Saturday, Sept. 25th and 26th, 2010. CSR Inc. was there enjoying the great music, beautiful weather and interest in native plants. The most common question was that of the Auger Falls Fire Restoration project. Although this project is being spearheaded by the Twin Falls Parks and Recreation Department and the BLM, CSR has donated $20,000 of native seed to help with the effort. Many people whose landscapes were touched by this fire had questions regarding the benefits of re-seeding with native plant species, and the best strategies for maintaining a fire-wise landscape. CSR offers a “Greenfire” seed mix which includes a variety of shrubs, grasses and forbs approrpiate for Southern Idaho, Wyoming and Northern Utah. The Greenfire mix is designed for use as an early seral seeding, to help ecologically stabilize disturbed areas and allow the native community to evolve over time. Many of the species in the mix will be apparent from the get-go while others will appear a few years later as the landscape heals. A low to no-water mix for large and small areas.
Artemisia tridentata var. tridentata (Basin Big Sagebrush)
Purshia tridentata (Antelope Bitterbrush)
Leymus cinereus (Great Basin Wildrye)
Festuca idahoensis (Idaho Fescue)
Achnatherum hymenoides (Indian Ricegrass)
Pseudoroegneria spicata ssp. spicata (Bluebunch Wheatgrass)
Poa secunda (Sandberg Bluegrass)
Bromus marginatus (Mountain Brome)
Linum lewisii (Blue Flax)
Sphaeralcea munroana (Munro’s Globemallow)
Balsamorhiza sagittata (Arrowleaf Balsamroot)
Penstemon strictus (Rocky Mountain Penstemon)
Eriogonum umbellatum (Sulfur Buckwheat)
Helianthus annuus (Annual Sunflower)
CSR has been awarded a re-vegetation contract for the Ouray National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is located 30 miles southwest of Vernal in northeastern Utah. It consists of 11, 987 acres including 12 miles of the Green River.
“Ouray NWR was originally established to serve as a refuge for breeding and migrating waterfowl. More specifically, the primary objective was to provide food and cover for 14 species of nesting ducks. While the purpose for which the Refuge was established has not changed, the methods of achieving the purpose have changed. Management strategies today are focused on managing water to mimic the natural flood plains that existed before dams were erected along the river. Portions of protective levees throughout the Refuge have been removed to allow more frequent flooding. Five bottomlands within the river flood plain – Johnson Bottom, Leota Bottom, Wyasket Lake, Sheppard Bottom, and Woods Bottom – are fed by the river as it winds through the desert. In late May, as natural flooding occurs, ponds are formed, spurring the growth of semi-aquatic plants which provide food and cover for ducks and other wildlife. In addition, these ponds serve as nurseries for the endangered fish species of the Colorado River system. Water is a scarce resource in the desert, and Refuge managers tend it carefully.
Ouray NWR is one link in the chain of sparsely distributed wetlands along the Green River corridor that provide much needed habitat for migrating birds. Refuge habitats include the river, riparian woodlands, wetlands, artificial impoundments, croplands, semidesert shrublands, grasslands, and clay bluffs. This diversity of habitat types provides food and shelter for a wide variety of wildlife.”
CSR’s Biology and Construction Team is excited to begin this project late summer. It is an experimental re-vegetation project that will test different seeding and stewardship methods used in arid land re-vegetation. We will begin by installing experimental plots, and then installing and testing irrigation. Progress updates and photos to come!
Staging area where project materials were prepared to be installed. The newly planted trees required cages to protect from predation.
A group of newly installed Black Cottonwoods, Populus balsamifera L. ssp. trichocarp. In the background you can see the other side of the waterway where Russian Olive trees will be removed. In the near future, we will be re-vegetating this far side of the wetland. In the foreground you can see large stumps of removed Russian Olives.
In this particular canyon, the ATV could not be used to transport materials due to the steep terrain. The Quaking Aspen, Populus tremuloides Michx, were carried to the install site manually.
The CSR, Inc. Construction/Restoration Team recently finished installing and caging 130 trees in central WA. These trees were grown in the CSR Greenhouse specifically for the Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge. Invasive Russian Olive trees, Elaeagnus angustifolia, had overtaken the riparian area reducing wildlife habitat and creating a dense mono-culture. The surrounding area was once dominated by cheatgrass, Bromus tectorum, and had been burned from a wildfire. This area will greatly benefit from re-establishing the native trees and shrubs. Native flora provides a more useful and desirable home for the local wildlife and also creates a natural firebreak.
This is an on-going project. The CSR team will continue to grow and plant additional trees.