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    Wednesday
    Feb072018

    2018 BMP SUMMIT โ€“ April 3rd and 4th - Shasta College Erosion Control Facility

    Register for the Erosion Control BMP Summit before March 15 and qualify for the EARLY BIRD Discount!

    How are your BMPs doing?  Come to the SUMMIT, – April 3rd and 4th, where the combination of classroom and field training is intended to allow you to confidently answer this question.

    The Erosion Control BMP Summit at Shasta College promises to be Extra Special this year.  We are ALSO hosting a two-day training, on April 5th and 6th,  for becoming a Certified Inspector in Sediment and Erosion Control.  Jerry Fifield and Tina Evans will teach this course that is required to become a CISEC or CISEC-IT.  This offering has a separate registration from the SUMMIT so visit

    https://www.cisecinc.org/training-exams/us-training-and-exam-schedule/    

    Why not take both BMP SUMMIT and CISEC Training? 

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsWqLbNytBo&feature=youtu.be

    In four days you will get an intimate knowledge of the most effective BMPs, how you select BMPs given complex conditions, and how to make them work as intended.  Combine that with Jerry and Tina’s class – also focusing on BMPs but also the management and inspection of your construction site.  Plus becoming a Certified Inspector may be a great career enhancement.

    Craig Benson will help John teach and demonstrate BMPs.  Craig Benson has 25 years of professional experience in a wide variety of watershed management, water resources engineering, erosion & sediment control, and ecological restoration projects in the United States, West Africa, and South America.  

    Mr. Benson is the Director of the Natural Resources Services Division of the non-profit RCAA in Eureka, CA.  He also lectures in the Environmental Science Department at Humboldt State University.   Craig has served two terms as the President of the Western Chapter of the International Erosion Control Association (IECA) and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Region 1 IECA.  Craig and John provide a teaching synergy that can’t be beat!

    More questions to bring with you; 1. Can your BMPs be more cost effective and sustainable?  2. How can you select the most effective BMP that will fit the site conditions and resources available? and 3. What are the main functioning elements you are looking for when inspecting BMPs in the field?  We want you to have confidence in the BMPs you are responsible for.  The Field Day will give you that confidence in the BMPs you specify, implement, or repair. John will provide a BMP Manual to you that he has been updating and perfecting since Erosion Draw, the manual on CD, was first published in 2000.

    We are going to become familiar with many of the most effective and sustainable BMPs in the industry.  You will get to help install and inspect, in the field;

    • Skimmer Sediment Ponds

    • Straw and Coir Fiber Rolls as slope interrupters.  Try different installation methods

    • Turf Reinforcement Mats, anchors, effective staple patterns

    • Track Walking and Soil Preparation

    • Hydraulic Mulches, BFMs, and Biotic Soil Mulches

    • Rolled Erosion Control Blankets and Mats

    • Inspect an installed Compost Berm a highly effective alternative to silt fence – The FINN Compost blower makes quick work of this BMP

    • Bioswale – inspect and discuss

    • Compost Blankets – Hoping to apply with FINN Compost Blower – or Express Blower - 98% effective

    • Learn to operate a FINN T-60 and T-70 Hydroseeder

    • Coir Netting for TRMs and Slope applications with Hydromulch added

    • Install and Inspect Silt Fence.  Demo the Silt Fence Installation by Slicing Machine for cost and labor savings

    • Install Compost Socks – a environmental and cost effective replacement to silt fence.  See the Filtrexx Siltsox specially designed to be highly effective in filtering stormwater.

    These are just some of the BMPs offered.  You will also be provided with a copy of The BMP Manual, adapted and derived from the widely sold, Erosion Draw, authored by John used in his Shasta College Class, IECA Courses, UC Davis courses and more.   

    And don’t forget that the College will provide breakfasts and lunches.  The meals provided are always a highpoint to our trainings.  

    See you soon!




     

    Tuesday
    Oct312017

    Sacramento Side Channel is Opened Today

    After lots of planning and hard work this "side channel" - once the river had split flow around Rancherie Island - this channel was ready to be opened toda.   More on this epic salmon "rearing habitat" restoration project as the river rises and "does the remainder of the work" - cleaning itself out after over 80 years of being plugged.

    https://youtu.be/nns3YM0OeM0

    Thursday
    Oct052017

    Three Stream Projects in Three Weeks !! First one - COW CREEK

    These design/build projects have been in the works for almost 3 years!  What is both serrindipitous and stressing is that all three projects got "permitted" in August/September and have to be completed by of about November.  My staff and I have been working 8-9 hr days for weeks now!!  Its "feast or famine" as they say about construction!!

    "The Works" meaning design and permitting.  Since these projects are on creeks or rivers designated for endangered Salmon or Steelhead, the permits required include Sec 404 ACOE, NMFS, USFWS, CA DFW, Sec 206 Cultural surveys, Sec 401 Water Quality, and the County of Shasta Grading Permit!!  Just the Ordinary High Water Mark Report required about $5,000 in professional fees, the Biological Report was anothr $3000, the design was actually the least expense to the landowner.  I'm still doing the project accounting but the rock, equipment and labor was about $90,000.  The design and permitting was over $30,000.

    COW CREEK, located in Eastern Shasta County, is an incised salmon/steelhead stream that has generally downcut to the bed rock strata.  There is limited bedload available since the system has been "hydromodified" (nearly 150 years of ranching has resulted in "urbanization response" to runoff) and is suceptable to high stormflows which are now restrained in the active channel.  

    The project intended to protect the house and garage, perched atop the 30' high bank, by moving the high energy flow vectors away from the bank slightly using redirective methods ( a 20' long Bendway weir and three rock barbs), installing 280' of 4-5' high Longitudinal Stone Toe, carefully installing clean, angular, well-graded stone (that can be placed in the creek without increases in turbidity) which actually protected the existing trees and shrubs that were barely hanging onto the bed rock cracks.  

    The challenge was getting down the nearly vertical bank with excavator and then get the 600T of rock down the bank without too much dirt.

    Cow Creek during very high flows, Jan, 2017

     

    Looking down the bank at start of work, Sept 2017

    Rock was end dumped to help form a temprary ramp. Water was used to keep the rock clean.

    Lack of room between trees and shop, and the permits requirements restricted the cut to 6 ft.Building upstream bendway weir - to nudge high flows streamward280 LF of LST (5' high using self launching stone*) allows the construction of a flood terrace. The terrace was vegetated with transplants and willow poles/branches arrayed as "live eyelashes".Live Siltation, willow branches pointing outward from LST - the peak of LST at a height near Bankfull discharge elevation, provides roughness as high flows access flood terrace.

    The downstream end of project with angled tie back,Looking upstream - one can see how the well graded stone and careful installation of LST and BARBS actually protected most of the existing willows and carex. It is hoped to be easier to achieve our 70% coverage requirement.The upstream Bendway Weir is complete and we also placed some clean spawning gravel.Now we will wait for this winter's storms!!  You can bet we will be out monitoring - stay tuned for more monitoring photos.

    By the way, our new website is being planned and developed!! Expect some great changes, including the ability to download video clips, Erosion Draw, BioDraw, the complete or just individual specs from Environmentally Sensitive Streambank Stabilization (ESenSS), or even chapters from Bioengineering Case Studies, 2013, Goldsmith, Gray, and McCullah.

    Please let me know what you would like to see more of.   Cheers    John 

     

    Wednesday
    Jul192017

    BIOENGINEERING WEBINAR at IECA Learner Community

    Here is a picture of my Grandpa John McCullah and his brother Ed BIOENGINEERING the eroding banks of the Kings River, near Hanford CA, back in the 1910s !!  

    Also look at the second picture of them "checking out their work during the floods.  That is a sign of a "good practitioner", one who visits the site during storms to see what can be improved upon.


     

    At that time, little did my granpa know I'd be doing similar work a 100-years in the furture. This type of construction for slope and streambank stabilization is keenly intersting to me.  I have been designing and implementing projects with these methods for over 20 years now.  I started with the willow "live" stake, then did everything with the "willow wattle".  By the way, do you know where the term STRAW WATTLE originated ?

    Later I became interested in "Live Brush Layering".  This webinar really covers the key priciples and concepts about BIOTECHNICAL SOIL STABILIZATION that I have learned over the last 20-years.

    I have built projects using these naturally-occuring and sustainable methods in Canada, Alaska, California, Kansas, Malaysia, and New Zealand.  Learn more about Bioengineering, where and how did these evolve. 

    http://ieca.learnercommunity.com/products/1150/bioengineering-and-biotechnical-soil-stabilization

     

    Repairing a huge landslide (the "Big Sandy") in Seschelt BC back in 1999.  Using Willow Wattles and Brush-Layered Toe Wall.

     

    Did you know that Caltrans published a Manual in 1950, which detailed the use of brushlayering and willow "wattles" for building highway embankments and fill slopes.

     

     

    This highway manual was preceeded by the work of Charles Krabel, circa 1937, Landscape Architect for Forset Service in So. California.

     

     

     

     

    Learn some of the history of Bioengineering in the west.

     

    How do you build fill slope embankments steeper that the angle of repose?  Engineering principles say to mechnanically reinforce.  Learn how to combine naturally-growing materials into your desigm, biologic materials that CAN continue to grow soil reinforcing roots that help not only stabilize but also reduce pore pressure on wet slopes!

     

    This Webinar will also discuss topics in Natural Succession and the value of "mimicing" natural systems.

    This program is a must for those of you who are challenged to knowlegably offer justifications for adding bioengineering compontnets to your projects.  Also a "must" for those who want to see case studies that describe successes (and some failures) on projects that have survived the test of time.

    This webinar will be super interesting to those of you already familiar with Bioengineering but it is also intended to give you a huge "first step" into BIOENGINEERING and BIOTECHNICAL TECHNIQUES for SLOPES and STREAM BANKS.

    Hopefully you interest is piqued.  Sign up for the Webinar now and also Professional Development Units.

     

     

    Tuesday
    Jan312017

    BMPs Demonstrated at Summit provide ideas for Slide/Slope Failure Repair

    Redding received over 10" of much needed rain in January.  But all that rain and the saturated soils led to a small slope failure on the Palisades Trail.  You may remember the way we treated the "seeping" slopes two years back, with 2" compost, native grass, mycorrhizae, all reinforced in Enka Mat and then sprayed with Flexterra (known as Green Armor System) Palisades Trail update

    Well, we learned a few things at the last couple of Shasta College Summits, including some innovative uses for Compost Socks and how to use and install the Gripple Anchor System.  When Terry Hanson called and said there was a small landslide above the trail.  He informed us he had a CCC crew scheduled, very little budget, and another batch of storms were expects.  Dis we have any ideas, and could we provide a prescription. The College had some products remaining from the Summits we could probably donate, primarily in the form of Filtrexx Compost Siltsoxx and Filtrexx Compost Grosoxx and some Biaxial geogrid.  Terry had some 2010 Enka Mat.  Our prescription was to excavate the heavy failed clay material as feasible and then pack the slide face with Compost Socks.  The sock would be enveloped in Enka Mat and Geogrid and then anchored to the slope.  We decided to use the new Gripple Anchors (altogether we used about 45 anchors) system to anchor the materials to the slope and counter the outward forces.

    It was fortunate that we had both green Siltsoxx (more designed for filtration) and the Grosoxx which are designed with more of a growing medium.  Since the slide area is still draining, the green socks may aide drainage while the black growsox may do a better job growing native grasses.  We will get to follow the project through time. 

    PHOTOS WILL BE POSTED SOON