National Park Service proposes restoration project near Whiskeytown Lake

Jul 23, 2014 8:15 PM

Sedimentation and erosion from a mountain top near Whiskeytown is creating hazardous conditions for Chinook salmon and steelhead trout.

The National Park Service wants to restore about 30 miles of abandoned logging roads -- the main source behind the debris flow into Clear Creek.

This dark scar on the Shasta Bolly batholith is the product of poorly-built logging roads back in the 1970's -- creating one of the most erosive terrains in North America.

"In 1997, a large debris torrent emanated from that water shed from a rain on snow event that deposited 190,000 cubic yards of material into Paige Boulder and lower Clear Creek."

And in 2001, the Seltzer Dam was removed, which allowed Chinook salmon and steelhead trout to travel 13 miles up to Whiskeytown.

"Clear Creek is now critical habitat for salmon and trout, and a lot of money is being funneled into that area to promote these species and their recovery..."

Federal and State sources poured $35 million to restore stream channels from Whiskeytown to the Sacramento River.

If another washout was to occur, it would destroy all the restoration work in Clear Creek, and kill off spawning beds for fish.

The National Park Service plans to restore about 1,200 acres around Paige Boulder Creek to prevent catastrophic run-off in the event of another strong storm.

"We'll be restoring lands...we'll be restoring streams and bringing the amount of sediment deposited in lower Clear Creek...and reducing that number to benefit of the fish and people."

Part of the restoration could include the Salt Gulch and Kanaka Peak trails, which Rasmussen says are frequently used by many locals and visitors.
The National Park Service held a public meeting this evening at Redding City Hall to get feedback from the community, before they move forward.


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