California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Wildlife and Vegetation Response to Experimental Restoration of Flooded Riparian Forest Habitat for the Cosumnes River Preserve

Pre-Restoration Denier East and West Basin Flood, 2005

Pre Restoration Denier East and West Basin Flood, 2005
Photo by Robertson Bryan, Inc.

Location: Cosumnes River Preserve, Galt, California

Total Project Cost: $3.8 Million: $1.8 Million Federal (Natural Resources Conservation Service); $2.0 Million State (Ecosystem Restoration Program)

Partners: The Nature Conservancy, PRBO Conservation Science, University of California Davis, University of Idaho, CDFW

Project Summary: Under this grant, an interdisciplinary team of researchers will document avian, biophysical, and vegetation response to restoration on approximately 622 acres of flooded riparian forest habitat in the Cosumnes River Preserve. The project area has been identified as one of the primary locations where riparian restoration can be conducted successfully in the lower Cosumnes River Corridor.

The riparian restoration is expected to benefit native fish and wildlife, using natural process restoration techniques where possible and horticultural restoration carried out in an experimental context. This will be one of the first projects to monitor changes in Bay-Delta ecosystem processes resulting from floodplain reconnection.

The Ecosystem Restoration Program provided cost share funding through two earlier grants for the acquisition of the properties that are to be restored. These properties contain the primary Cosumnes River channel and present an opportunity to breach or remove levees to reestablish a flood pattern that will support the restoration of habitats including riparian forestland. Implementation of this project also continues planning and modeling work completed through another previous ERP grant.

Project monitoring is currently scheduled to be complete in 2015.