How we stopped worrying and learned to love the flood: Long-term riparian restoration on Lower Cache Creek, Yolo County, CA
Tuesday, August 3, 2021
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Andrew P. Rayburn, Paul Frank and Mark Tompkins, Cache Creek Technical Advisory Committee, Woodland, CA, Paul Frank and Mark Tompkins, FlowWest, Oakland, CA, Zachary Emerson, Cache Creek Conservancy, Woodland, CA, Casey Liebler, Yolo County Division of Natural Resources, Woodland, CA
Andrew P. Rayburn
Cache Creek Technical Advisory Committee Woodland, California, United States
Cache Creek is a highly-managed California river undergoing long-term restoration after an intensive land-use history, including mining. The multi-decadal restoration program goal is riparian vegetation recovery, yet 20+ years of observations and modelling has shown that active restoration is severely constrained by abiotic extremes, groundwater variability, invasive species, and a dynamic flow regime (10–30,000+ cfs) including high flows that annually reshape the channel. Embracing these constraints results in a longer restoration timeline and more focus on passive restoration including invasive species control, channel maintenance to protect mature vegetation, and consideration of e-flows combined with strategic planting in “safe sites”.