Watershed Restoration – One Size Does Not Fit All
Regardless of the size of your property, water erosion can be a serious problem. Sometimes it’s a wonderful wash that’s turned into a cut gully (incised), which depletes your property of moisture. Other times it’s water moving at excessive speed across your property, taking topsoil with it.
Ideally, you’ll be able to begin restoration where the damage begins, at the highest point. But sometimes you can only work on your own property and neighbors aren’t too cooperative. There are always steps you can take though.
One invasive feature is a headcut. This is when the flow has, for various reasons, begun to cut a channel into the stream bed. This cut, which can vary from several inches to several yards, will move uphill over time. If one is approaching from your downstream neighbor and they aren’t willing to work with you to stop it, what can you do?
In some cases, you just have to wait. The headcut can be stopped, but it’s possible that you won’t be able to do it until it reaches you. Sometimes a headcut can be starved. This is done by spreading the flow before it reaches the headcut, so that it stops cutting.
Some aggressive measures, such as trenching the wash at the property line and setting up rocks to halt the cut as it works its way onto your property might work.
In the end, the most successful techniques look as though you didn’t do anything, but rather as if nature had taken care of it for you. Exceptions might be Zuni bowls or other features that can add an artistic beauty to your landscape.
Here's a handy Erosion Control Field Guide for your watershed restoration efforts. I've sat under Craig's teaching and have followed him closely. He's truly an artist when it comes to this work. If you need help with your project, feel free to reach out on Steemit.chat.
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