Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rosgen disciples: $603,000; taxpayers: zero.



This report from the columbian.com site today.

I don't know the details, but at first cut this looks like another huge waste up public money facilitated by Dave Rosgen's teaching. An attempt to lock a high energy system tending toward braiding with a history of and capability for channel shifts across its floodplain into a single thread in one position. It just defies geomorphological logic.

We see the usual collection of Rosgen structures, including grade controls (always given another name, but they are there to dissipate energy) which are very tricky to apply in a system like this, if they're appropriate at all. But I have yet to see a Rosgen-inspired project without them.

I like the "collection of gimmicks" quote in the article--it perfectly fits most of these projects I've seen.

There are a lot of red flags, including a clear emphasis on channel stability by the project's proponents.

Again, I don't know the details and hope to hear more about this one. In the absence of Rosgen's influence, perhaps something just as inappropriate would have been done here, but I would argue that he facilitates things like this with his mail-order credentials and one-size-fits-all method that is recognized by way too many regulators and high level decision makers.

A quote from the article, which is very well done I think. Peter Klingman, a critic of the project who teaches restoration at Portland State University and elsewhere, has just taken possession of one of our Emriver Em2 models, by the way.

Developed by Colorado consultant Dave Rosgen, a former Forest Service colleague of Dyrland's, the method is not universally accepted — especially for western rivers prone to migrate across floodplains as wide as the lower East Fork's.

Three scientists criticized Fish First's strategy for the East Fork in a 2003 assessment conducted at the behest of the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board.

"All reviewers were uneasy over a plan that restricted the East Fork to a single thread channel that could reduce channel and habitat complexity," according to a summary of the report by Paul Duane Bakke, a hydrologist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Lacey; Cygnia F. Rapp, a geomorphologist from Kingston; and Peter C. Klingman, a consultant from Corvallis, Ore.

One reviewer called the strategy "a collection of 'gimmicks' and manipulations that may not be able to withstand the large flows that are occasionally carried by the East Fork Lewis River."


Screen grab from Columbian.com, Clark County, Washigton.

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