Santa Cruz, CA
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  Portland, OR
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Kunzler Ranch Gravel Extraction

kunzler1Client: Granite Construction Company

Waterways staff assisted Granite Construction Company with planning, designing, and permitting an off-channel gravel extraction project on the Kunzler Ranch property, located in Ukiah Valley at the confluence of Ackerman Creek and the Russian River. Waterways conducted hydrologic, hydraulic, and geomorphic analyses to assess flooding impacts, habitat development potential, and channel stability at the proposed project site during project-life and reclamation phases.

The geomorphic assessment included assembly and analysis of several datasets pertaining to site hydrology, soils, geology and historical conditions. Waterways analyzed the geomorphic landforms of the entire Ukiah Valley to obtain a “big picture” perspective of the channel conditions surrounding the project site. The analyses revealed historic and current processes of erosion and sediment transport, which Waterways extrapolated to estimate future meander activity and potential erosion rates. Waterways then applied this information to develop recommendations for mining setback limits and shoreline restoration treatments.

Our staff worked closely with the Granite Construction, Inc. and NOAA Fisheries to develop a design that minimized impacts to the river environment and wildlife resources. The project design incorporates an overflow weir and “fuse plug” that equilibrates the river and pit water levels while reducing the potential for fish entrapment during lower frequency flood events. Channel restoration designs included the excavation of geomorphically appropriate terraces along Ackerman Creek and the Russian River to improve the riparian corridor, enhance bank stability, and provide high-flow refuge for salmonids.

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