Carr Fire – Erosion Control And Rehab

Here are some photos depicting fire rehab for a landowner protecting their property near Keswick this week.  See the last blogs, but the purpose was to establish CA native grasses to kick start natural succession (healing) the way nature intended!  To get CA native grasses instead of star thistle, noxious annual grasses and ultimately the fire-prone Knobcone Pine (climax species ??) we need to add the symbiotic mychorrizae fungi, a slow release biotic fertilizer (BioSol and Sustane are examples), AND the proper selections of native grass species.

Even two of my favorite species, Elymus glaucus and Nassella pulchra, that grow in the same area but one (NP) likes hot dry, south-facing slopes and EG proliferates on slopes with a little shade occasionally.

For this property (fortunately the house was spared) I developed two different mixes, one for south-facing and one for north-facing slope.



Measure, weigh, and calibrate – especially if you seed by hand. I like seeding by hand because I have more control. See the prior videos.


 

Straw Mulching can be difficult, the bales weigh 60-80lbs


we also had a mini excavator on hand, helping “toss” some bales down the slope!


Drainage drainage drainage. Now is the time to treat old skid roads or ? that can turn into gullies. After a fire, these historically benign drainage features can become big problems.


I used a small excavator to “remove” and re-contour, thus correcting the drainage anomaly.


 

The old skid road has now been re contoured. We have done many miles of logging road removal in Whiskeytown NRA and adjacent Grass Valley Watershed – back in the day.


The Straw Blower, FINN

By John

John McCullah has an AA degree in Biology and a BS in Watershed Geology. He has CA contractors license since 1990 and has been performing erosion control and restoration work for over 25 years. John has been a Certified Community College Instructor since 1996, developing curriculum and teaching at Shasta College in No. California. John is a recognized expert in erosion control, stream and watershed restoration, and technical training. He has had specialized adult educator training while teaching state-wide storm water courses for California Department of Transportation - from 2001 through 2011. John is also certified as a QSD and QSP (Qualified SWPPP Developer and Practitioner) and he is a Trainer of Record for these CA professional requirements. He has authored 3 complete Best Management Practice Manuals and helped develop new BMPs with California Department of Transportation Division of Landscape Architecture, particularly Steep and Adverse Slopes. John has been teaching professional development courses for IECA since 1996. His popular ‘Best of the BMPs’ course is constantly being updated to reflect new technology, materials, and practices. The Dirt Time video series was produced as a means to present hands on learning experiences to the classroom. There are now over 15 Dirt Time episodes and 50 video clips available. John has designed and built many environmentally-sensitive river and stream projects over the last years, projects ranging from California to Alaska, and Alberta Canada to New Zealand. As an academic and practitioner with dozens of case studies and Dirt Time clips, John’s trainings are filled with first hand, practical experiences. He recently co-authored Bioengineering Case Studies - Sustainable Stream Bank and Slope Stabilization published in 2015 by Springer.