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A stream cutting through an eroding channel

River &
stream channel erosion

Existing Conditions and Assessment Conclusions

Accelerated erosion of channel banks on the Pit River and tributary streams is a significant concern throughout the Pit RCD watershed area. Causes of this erosion are varied and can be related to natural factors such as catastrophic wildfire and floods, or land and water management practices such as intensive livestock grazing and channel modification (e.g. channel straightening and poor bridge designs). The Pit River from Canby to McArthur has many reaches with relatively severe and active channel erosion. This is also true for some of the principal tributaries such as Ash Cr, Willow Cr, Rush Cr and Stone Coal Cr. Active channel erosion results in property loss, threatens infrastructure (i.e. roads and bridges), degrades water quality, degrades aquatic habitat, and impacts recreation and the general aesthetics of the watershed.

The Pit RCD, together with its service partner NRCS, has provided technical and financial assistance to landowners who wish to address problems of stream bank erosion. Many projects have been implemented, in part to demonstrate and evaluate techniques to reducing or controlling channel erosion.



Management Strategy

A. The Pit RCD will seek to conduct an overall survey and ranking of stream channel erosion problems in the district.

B. The RCD and NRCS will continue to provide technical and financial assistance to landowners who want to address accelerated stream bank erosion. Potential funding sources for this activity include state and federal watershed improvement grants, various provisions of the federal Farm Bill, and other public/private sources.

C. The RCD will promote stream bank erosion control projects which will emphasize low cost, low maintenance approaches over costly hard fixes like rip rap and dams. Projects will attempt to restore natural functioning condition of the watercourse (i.e. utilize historic remnant channels and restore floodplain connection). Priority will be given to projects with high demonstration value. These are projects which address erosion causes and symptoms common and widespread in the watershed and projects where the techniques and resulting benefits can be readily viewed by the public.

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