What types of in-channel habitat restoration and enhancement projects may be permitted?

A range of projects are allowable to restore natural channel processes and habitat, including placement of limited rock and wood, native plantings to stabilize streambanks, and the removal or addition of fish barriers. Such projects are most likely to protect river values, including a river’s free-flowing condition, provided they: 

  1. Mimic the effects of naturally occurring events such as trees falling in and across the river (including the formation of wood jams), boulders tumbling in or moving down the river course, exposure of bedrock outcrops, bank sloughing or undercutting, bar formation (including island building), and the opening or closing of secondary channels (including oxbow development).

  2. Do not impede natural channel processes, such as bank erosion, bar formation/island building, bed aggradation/degradation, channel migration, or the transport of sediment, wood and ice.

  3. Consider the project’s effects on other outstandingly remarkable values, such as recreation and boating, and avoid creating unreasonable hazards or substantially interfere with existing recreation use.

  4. Protect water quality during the construction period. Temporary increases in turbidity are allowable during construction provided that the increase does not permanently impair water quality or have an adverse effect on values (e.g., fish or mussels).
Interagency Wild & Scenic Rivers Council