Projects Worked On
Interdisciplinary teams of Center scientists are investigating the causes for the decline of salmon and steelhead in Shasta River, historically one of the most productive tributaries in the lower Klamath Basin. A large spring complex (Big Springs Creek) provides the majority of its water, particularly during the summer.
In 2008, Center researchers seized a rare opportunity to quantify the results of conservation action on a large scale. The Nature Conservancy bought ranchland along Big Springs Creek, a Shasta River tributary that had been degraded by cattle grazing. The conservancy continued ranching but fenced out cattle along the 2.2 mile stream.
The Center for Watershed Sciences is partnering with The Nature Conservancy in an experimental floodplain restoration on the Cosumnes River. The Center's role in this Department of Fish & Wildlife funded project, "Wildlife And Vegetation Response to Experimental Restoration of Flooded Riparian Forest Habitat for the Cosumnes River Preserve," is intended to conduct biophysical monitoring of an experimental restoration on approximately 800 acres of flooded riparian forest habitat in the Cosumnes River Preserve.
The Little Shasta River project is the third phase of CWS’ research in the Shasta basin – moving past baseline assessment and demonstration projects to private landowner collaboration. The Center for Watershed Sciences is partnering with private landowners, California Trout, and The Nature Conservancy to identify how heritage rangeland can be managed to ensure the long-term viability of both rangeland and recover coho salmon populations. Our research shows how science can inform and influence the management of rangeland and environmental resources.