Restoring streams post-fire with low-tech structures in Idaho

Conservation professionals turned a negative into a positive in the aftermath of the 65,000-acre Sharps wildfire on Baugh Creek in the Little Wood watershed in Central Idaho. A major partnership project led by the Idaho Soil and Water Conservation Commission led to the installation of more than 120 beaver dam-type low-tech structures along Baugh Creek and two other tributaries to help restore the streams in a post-fire environment. The beaver dam analogs and other woody in-stream structures slow down the water flow, increase meanders and store water high in the watershed for the benefit of fish, wildlife and livestock.

The project was made possible by two private landowners in the area that wanted to restore the streams and improve wildlife habitat. Partners included Idaho Fish and Game, Trout Unlimited, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wood River Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Anabranch Solutions, Utah State University, and more.