Whitelaw Creek Riparian Restoration


Whitelaw Creek

Beaver Creek

Aug. 12, 2023



Project Goals and Objectives

This project aims to increase riparian habitat along Whitelaw Creek through the installation of beaver dam analogs (BDAs) and willow planting in conjunction with ongoing riparian grazing management. Whitelaw Creek has in the past undergone extensive restoration effort in partnership with WY DEQ that has significantly improved riparian condition, however the work has not been fully completed. This project aims to build on previous restoration efforts and management changes in order to finalize the work within this drainage. Historically beaver have been present in this area up to 5 years ago, without the presence of beaver in this stream reach there is an increased chance of stream incision and loss of wetland habitat. By mimicking beaver and repairing old beaver dam structures with BDAs we hope to halt incision and increase stream connectivity with the floodplain. In the recent past there has been a noticeable change in flow regime in the upper reaches of Whitelaw Creek transitioning from perennial to intermittent or in some cases ephemeral. One of the goals of this project is to keep water on the landscape higher in the watershed so that the water table will rise, and flow can be restored and maintained yearlong. With the rise in the water table we are hoping willow plantings will re-establish and expand and overall growth of riparian vegetation will occur in this upper reach. This project is supported by the grazing permitee in conjunction with other management changes such as the addition of water tanks to the uplands of the allotment and management of the riparian pasture. This partnership with the grazing permitee will be a key point to the success of this project.

Structure Construction Elements

The reach is approximately 1.1 miles long.. BDAs will be built by driving untreated wooden posts to create structure support, weaving willows onto the posts, and then adding cobble and sod mats creating a semi-permeable structure. Sod mats will be collected immediately upstream from the structure within the inundation zone. Construction will start with the most downstream structure in order to capture any sediment released in the construction of upstream structures.

Project Photos
Photo of Whitelaw Creek Riparian Restoration

Cover Photo

Project Location