Cumberland Mountain State Park Project

posted Feb 16, 2015, 8:35 AM by Dennis Gregg

This project began in 2013 to respond to extensive bank erosion and sedimentation which had been noted in a previous survey of the two streams, Byrds Creek and Three Mile Creek, which make up the two “arms” of the Park.  These impairments were caused by two factors:
1.  An unusual number of downed trees, particularly along Three Mile Creek which had been hit by a tornado, combined with pine bark beetle damage.
2.  Increased development upstream of the park which resulted in increased run-off from storm events.

The Project had four components:
1.  Streambank stabilization using cedar revetments
2.  Debris dam removal
3.  Installation of rock vanes
4.  Planting of newly stabilized banks

Because the project was conducted in a State Park with the highest level of environmental protection, no heavy equipment was used with the project, relying entirely on human labor, including the carrying of materials to the sites using existing trails.   Debris dams were also removed by hand by cutting logs into pieces that could be handled safely.

If each of the treatment areas is considered separately, there were a total of 105 sites, ranging from ten feet in length to eight-four feet long. There was a total of 2,155 feet of banks treated on Three Mile Creek and its main tributary out of a total of 4,028 feet of impacted stream and on Byrds Creek, 523 feet of bank were treated out of 5,500 feet of impacted stream.  A total of 507 revetments were installed.

A number of small rock barbs were installed at various points by rearranging existing streambed rocks.  Two major vanes and a smaller one were installed at one site on Byrds Creek, using about 5 ¼ tons of local quarried sandstone.

Three debris dams were removed on Three Mile Creek, six debris dams were removed on Byrds Creek.

The project was completed in the summer of 2014 with the final planting and removal of some massive logs.  On-going monitoring is occurring and some overplanting will occur in spring 2015.

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