Silver Creek Restoration Design and Monitoring

Crystal Mountain (
Crystal Mountain in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Developers and managers of one of the Pacific Northwest’s premium ski areas have met requirements for stream habitat enhancements related to redevelopment. The Watershed Company revised 10-year-old restoration designs for 1,500 feet of Silver Creek and developed an ecologically-sensitive approach to stabilize areas of continued erosion, increase habitat features, and limit the amount of disturbance during construction. Revised plans included installation of several large wood structures, slope stabilization, and riparian revegetation. The U.S. Forest Service, which owns the property, approved the designs.

Watershed staff oversaw construction in 2010.  Staff completed pre- and post-construction monitoring at the site, using annual cross-section surveys and USFS Level II Habitat Surveys, which include pebble counts, vegetation surveys, and LWD assessments. Results from three years of post-construction monitoring indicate that the project resulted in enhanced habitat structure, reduced streambank erosion and less fine sediment in the streambed.

Monitoring stream conditions

Stream habitat enhancements designed by Watershed were monitored for three years.

biologist monitoring along a transect at Silver Creek

large woody debris in Silver Creek

monitoring stream restoration one year after installation

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