The following represent some selected projects that outline our expertise & experience
Bear Creek Concept Design
Mattole Salmonid Group
Developing a stream restoration design for a small tributary to the Mattole River near its confluence with the Pacific Ocean. The creek was diverted in the 1970s to “improve” fish passage, but the resulting channel has since aggraded and no longer supports Coho salmon. The objectives of the restoration design is to re-route the channel through its historic floodplain to create important spawning and rearing habitat for fish and amphibians.
Napa Yountville Concept Design
California Stewardship Institute / Phillip Williams & Associates
Developed a conceptual design on 10 miles of the Napa River between Oakville Crossing and Oak Knoll. The Napa River has incised over 30 feet since agricultural land-use practices began. Incision has simplified the channel, reduced salmonid spawning habitat, and degraded water quality. Recent bank erosion is continuing to degrade water quality and fish habitat. Our design will integrate landowner constraints and geomorphic principles to establish a sustainable configuration for the Napa River that will be more resilient.
Lower Squaw Creek Concept Design
Placer County Planning Department
Project Manager for a conceptual restoration plan along a sensitive sub-alpine meadow with significant historic and current land-use impacts. The stream has been extensively incised due to numerous land-use impacts, and erosion control efforts have experienced mixed success. Project goals are to restore eco-geomorphic functions by identifying restoration opportunities and constraints and developing alternatives that meet ecological, economic, social and political objectives. Design solutions for the site include an integrated set of features designed to improve floodplain interactions, restore bank stability, and regulate natural sediment loads in a manner that is consistent with a dynamically stable channel system.
City of San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department
Provided developed low-impact alternatives for stabilizing a hillslope and creek banks along a large hillslope seep in McLaren Park in the City of San Francisco. A significant supply of sediment is continuing to fill a downstream pond, causing significant maintenance costs. Our review is leading toward a revised design that will provide cost-effective reduction in sediment supply while retaining the ecological and aesthetic character of the site.
Upper Truckee River Restoration EIS
California Department of Parks & Recreation
SWC staff were responsible for evaluating the hydraulic, geomorphic and hydrologic impacts associated with a restoration design of the Upper Truckee River near Washoe Meadows State Park. The project involves a highly complex restoration design intended to restore ecological integrity and geomorphic function along the Upper Truckee River and adjacent meadow within the project site. It involves finding a balanced solution to complex hydraulic, geomorphic and ecological processes.
Northstar Highlands Mitigation Design
SWC Staff developed a mitigation restoration design for a small headwater channel in response to a new road development project. The mitigation design had difficult constraints given the orientation, wide variation in flow requirements, relatively steep slope, historic disturbance, and requirements associated with the mitigation project. Developed a Monitoring and Mitigation Plan for the project site.
Oak Knoll Redevelopment Channel Design
SWC Staff designed a major channel restoration in associated with a residential redevelopment project at the former Oak Knoll Navy Base in Oakland, California. The project was constrained by a large amount of new fill, degraded existing conditions, and a need to realign portions of the channel while retaining the riparian conditions along other sections.
Upper Truckee River Middle Reach Restoration
City of South Lake Tahoe & Tahoe Resource Conservation District
Deputy Project Manager and Lead Restoration Designer for two major river restoration projects on the Upper Truckee River, comprising approximately 4 miles of river. Restoration strategies employed include bank restructuring, slope bioengineering, floodplain modifications, in-channel habitat elements, erosion controls, and alterations to hydraulics.
Puyallup Confluence Stabilization Project
Kapowsin Tree Farm
Designed a major channel stabilization project along the upper Puyallup River at the confluence of the Mowich River. Both rivers are steep, gravel-bed rivers with high rates of channel migration. An existing road system was threatened by a channel avulsion risk that required improvements. Design used woody debris jams oriented as barbs along the Puyallup River to encourage the river to naturally migrate away from the existing road.
Christmas Valley Erosion Control Project
El Dorado County Department of Transportation
Mr. Liquori was the Project manager for the Existing Conditions phase of a County Transportation Department project that is addressing storm-driven erosion along a county road. The project involves hydrologic modeling for a series of small watersheds that are tributary to the Upper Truckee River that deliver flood flows to a small community of houses and a county road. Major issues include an unstable natural channel distribution system, excessive erosion along existing drainage systems, and complex landowner issues.
Pilarcitos Integrated Watershed Management Plan
San Mateo Resource Conservation District
Leading an effort to integrate facilitated stakeholder involvement into a comprehensive integrated watershed management plan. The Pilarcitos is a major water supply for the City of San Francisco, the City of Half Moon Bay and many local users. The watershed suffers from an overallocated water supply, degrading fish habitat, and constraining land-uses. The Integrated Management Plan will identify additional data needs and opportunities for resolving these key issues to meet watershed goals.
Walker River Mediation
Walker River Irrigation District
Representing the client in technical meetings addressing hydrology issues related to a water rights mediation negotiation. Water rights in the Walker River basin are over-allocated, resulting in long-term dewatering of the terminal Walker Lake, endangering the ecological value of the lake. Mr. Liquori is working to find solutions that meet difficult hydrological, political, social, ecological and economic constraints.
Champion Pacific Timberlands/The Campbell Group
As part of a regional management team, SWC Staff were responsible for managing watershed resources on 860,000 acres of privately managed forests in Washington, Oregon and California. Guided development of watershed operations, company policy, public relations and regulatory issues related to watershed management. Established creative approaches toward integrating ecological values into watershed asset management. Established industry-wide standards for over a dozen management protocols. Developed and negotiated 11 major habitat conservation initiatives with regulatory, tribal and environmental groups. Led over 20 scientific research studies, several of which resulted in major state-wide regulatory reform (Forests & Fish legislation). Created 3rd-party environmental audit standards that became part of the Sustainable Forestry Initiativeä standards. Became established as a leader in forest watershed science and management in the state. Affected revenues for a $55 – 70 Million/year enterprise.
Jackson State Demonstration Forest Advisory GroupCALFIRE
SWC Principal Mike Liquori was appointed to the Jackson State Demonstration Forest Advisory Panel by the State of California. This group provides policy recommendations to the Director of CALFIRE with regard to forest management in the largest state-run forestry program in California. As home to the Casper Creek, this watershed has provided some of the most rigorous and highly respected long-term forest hydrology studies in the western Unites States.
Riparian Literature Review Project California State Board of Forestry
Project manager and contributing scientist for a comprehensive review of riparian literature related to forest management in California’s forested landscape. The purpose of the literature review is to support the development and adoption of riparian rules to protect water quality and fish species.
Quincy Library Group Peer Review Panel US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station/Pinchot Institute
Lead scientist reviewing hydrology, riparian ecology and watershed issues for an independent peer review of forest management policies associated with the Quincy Library Group – the largest experimental community forestry project in the country. The group has been working to establish forest management practices that address fire risk, ecosystem functions, and other issues of importance to the community. The peer review consists of detailed analysis and audit of existing monitoring data to determine how well the project has been meeting its goals.
Northwest Forest Plan Review University of Washington
Mike participated in a review with Dr. Jerry Franklin of the implementation effectiveness of the Northwest Forest Plan’s Adaptive Management Program. We toured several US Forest Service offices and Adaptive Management Areas to identify opportunities and constraints for revised management policies.
Sustainable Forestry Audit PriceWaterhouseCoopers
Provided an independent, 3rd-party audit for water quality and watershed issues following the Sustainable Forestry Initiative™ standards. Reviewed over a dozen harvest units and road sites to evaluate application of sustainable standards. Identified cost-effective improvements to management guidelines that will result in improved sustainability and water quality benefits.
Forests & Fish Regulatory Reform Washington Forest Protection Association
Participated as a key scientific advisor to the forest products industry in Washington State during a contentious and multi-year negotiation to reform state-wide forest practice regulations to improve conditions for endangered salmonids, headwater amphibians, and water quality. Stakeholders included 23 native american tribes, state and federal regulators, environmental groups, dozens of industrial forest landowners and thousands of non-industrial private landowners. Reform was focused on resolving issues with Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, and included both NEPA and SEPA components.
Watershed Analysis Various Clients
Participated in many watershed analysis projects, including the Mashel, Panakanic, Gold Fork, Ohop, Tanwax, Powell, and Palix. Also implemented prescriptions associated with the Kosmos, EF Tilton, WF Satsop, Connolly, and others. Experience in channels, mass wasting, riparian, hydrology, and surface erosion methods specific to watershed analysis. Particularly strong at synthesizing the information from various modules into a coherent management framework. Used watershed analysis tools and products to develop monitoring and adaptive management systems.
Walker River Steering Committee Walker River Irrigation District
Working with a broad group of stakeholders, the Steering Committee is charged with developing restoration projects that are designed to increase water delivery to Walker Lake. As one of the largest terminal lakes in the United States, Walker Lake has been rapidly declining over the last 150 years, and is now a threatened ecosystem. The complex hydrologic and land-use requirements in this watershed make such an effort a major challenge.
Contra Costa Hydromodification Contra Costa County
Developed a methodology for evaluation the potential hydrologic modification impacts associated with land development activities. Our method is being adopted by Contra Costa County to establish guidelines for land development that meet water quality and sustainability criteria. Our method integrates a simple channel typing screen with simple field measurements to identify those sites requiring more detailed analysis. The protocol resulted in an effective stream stability rating using 4 easily collected field channel measures.
Hillslope Hydrology Studies Champion Pacific Timberlands
Developed extensive literature reviews and onsite research into the role of timber harvest and roading on hillslope hydrology processes, including subsurface and surface runoff impacts.
Stream Gage Monitoring Various Clients
Established automated gage systems on streams, wetlands, and floodplain environments. Performed numerous surveys to support data collection efforts, including hydrologic investigations, water quality and fish habitat.
Channel Migration Zone Delineation Various Clients
Conducted site-based and photo-based delineations of channel migration zones along several reaches of the Puyallup, Hoh, Mowich, Tolt, Snoqualmie, Cispus, Cowlitz, White, Carbon & Queets Rivers. Conducted numerous evaluations along smaller streams. Provided technical content and review for the Washington State Forest Practice Board Manual on channel migration delineation.
Regional Landslide Inventory Weyerhaeuser Company
Integrated a large spatial database of landslide information for over 1.1 Million acres of company lands in Washington State. Data was provided by various watershed analysis methods, using different standards and protocols. Integrated the data using common protocols and spatial map integration procedures. Data was compiled and analyzed within a GIS framework.
Watershed-Scale Hydrological Modeling Various Clients
Modeled hydrologic response for numerous watersheds in association with forest resource management planning, road erosion studies, perennial flow initiation studies and various engineering applications. Model results were used to assess design impacts from peak flow runoff, rain-on-snow, baseflow, flow routing, duration analysis, flood frequency assessments and others. Geomorphic modeling experience includes slope stability, road erosion, landscape evolution, channel condition, riparian/channel dynamics, wood recruitment and others. Familiar with numerous models including HEC-1, NFF, Rational, TR-55, HSPF, WMS, DHSVM and others.
Stream Temperature Monitoring Program Champion Pacific Timberlands
Managed a stream temperature monitoring program in a managed forest landscape. Results were used for compliance and effectiveness monitoring, and were used to test several management hypotheses. Data supported numerous policy negotiations and management planning processes.
Water Typing Survey Program Champion Pacific Timberlands
Managed survey crews that collected stream characteristic and fish use data for over 200 miles of stream in western Washington. Data used to inform timberland operations and support a stream typing model that identified probabilities for fish use based on several landscape factors.
Riparian Zone Effectiveness Study Kapowsin Tree Farm
Evaluated 20 riparian management zone buffers following timber harvest to determine short-term and long-term impacts on key aquatic variables. Results indicated that long-held assumptions about treefall direction from riparian forests do not apply to riparian buffers. These results have significant implications for wood recruitment modeling and riparian buffer design.
Sediment Supply Studies Pacific Northwest and California Regions
Evaluated sediment supply from various watershed management practices, including agricultural, hydro-electric, and forestry operations. Developed protocols and methods used for state-wide adaptive management and monitoring systems, and for local operational management. Evaluated sediment supply from road systems, forest harvest, cumulative sediment supply, landslide inventories, and sediment budgets. Integrated watershed-scale sediment supply evaluations with in-channel assessments to determine effects on channel morphology, transport capacity, aquatic habitat, and riparian functions.
Big Creek Road Project Southern California Edison
Inventoried project roads for a FERC relicense applicatant in the Big Creek Hydropower project area. Developed semi-quantitative rating of sediment production from roads, and delivery ratings to streams. Captured data in real-time GIS/GPS system that provided the client with a database of culverts and sediment sources for use in operational management of the road network.
Wetland Identification Handbook Boise Cascade
Developed a Wetland Identification Handbook: A Guide for Pacific Northwest Forestlands for Boise Cascade Corporation for use throughout their operating region in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. Described primary wetland types, outlined classification methods, and described characteristic communities for wetland identification, including obligate and facultive species specific to various ecotones within the Pacific Northwest Region.
Perennial Flow Initiation Studies Washington State Department of Natural Resources
Conducted studies in Pierce, Lewis and Klickitat Counties, and co-chaired a larger state-wide study to improve identification of the location where perennial flows begin in forested headwaters to support regulatory requirements and guide policy decisions. Provided data and guidance to economic models. Developed implications for adaptive management policies and impacts to land-use management constraints.
Headwater Geomorphology Studies Champion Pacific Timberlands
Conducted research on nearly 1000 stream reach sites to evaluate trends in characteristics for managed headwater streams. Integrated these results with studies addressing biological needs for headwater amphibians to develop management standards and strategies for protecting key ecosystem functions and processes. Presented results at conferences in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia.
Riparian Large Woody Debris Recruitment Models Various Clients
Pacific Northwest Developed large woody debris recruitment models to guide riparian management practices and policies in forested environments. Implemented the model over numerous timber harvest locations and long-term harvest planning. The model provided short-term and long-term estimates of recruitment and residual riparian stand composition by integrating calibrated data with regionally based estimates and local geometry of the site.
Stream Temperature Workshop Timber Fish & Wildlife Cooperative
Facilitated a contentious workshop to resolve stream temperature monitoring and modeling guidelines associated with forest management policies. Over 50 scientists from the timber industry, government agencies, tribal governments, and environmental advocates attended this two-day event. The outcome identified a broad consensus for monitoring and research activities that would support a rigorous adaptive management framework.