Sunday, September 21, 2008

Doing the Right Thing for Gordon Creek

Or maybe it should be "Trout Economics"? At any rate, regardless of what the working title is, we are creating a short film for the Southern Wisconsin chapter of Trout Unlimited about the restoration efforts they, and many other parties, are making in the Gordon Creek watershed.

A stretch of Gordon Creek, looking north, restoration partially complete.

For me, this is an unexpectedly complex but interesting view into the "what why and how" of a watershed restoration project. On first view, I thought this would be about placing some structures back in the stream and the people doing the work. It is some of that. But there is so much behind the scenes, it makes the actual in-stream work seem like that 10% of the iceberg you can see, while the hidden 90% lurks under the surface.

The final step for stream restoration. A large machine made delicate in the hands of a skilled operator

That hidden 90% of stream restoration is all about land ownership, access rights, township-county-state-federal-citizen-nonprofit cooperation and interaction, the issue of invasive plant species, and of course what needs to be done to improve trout habitat. The more I see and learn, the more fascinating the whole behind the scenes effort becomes.

At its heart, restoration work is about land and water stewardship. Ultimately doing the right thing. Getting the work done is also a marvel of cooperation between many parties and many people.

The trout like it too!

1 comment:

missingpiece said...

I'm a high school student doing an environmental project on the Gordon Creek Watershed and was wondering if you could give me more information on the project/film that you guys are doing.