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Napa Resource Conservation District

Watershed Conservation Project Makes Enchanted Hills Camp Better for Fish and Other Creatures

Watershed Conservation Project Makes Enchanted Hills Camp Better for Fish and Other Creatures

Photo: Tractor and excavator machinery restoring Wing Canyon stream at Enchanted Hills Camp.

For over ten years, Enchanted Hills Camp has partnered with Napa Resource Conservation District to look at ways to provide better stewardship of our waterways and mitigate erosion problems at camp. After years of discussion, design and implementation, we are happy to report the completion of our project.

This summer Enchanted Hills and Napa Resource Conservation District worked to prevent sediment from our hillsides from running into creeks. Keeping sediment out of our creeks and streams is a critical measure that protects the habitat of fish such as the steelhead trout.

The project has also transformed two miles of dirt road – keeping 4,759 cubic yards of sediment – enough to fill more than 400 commercial dump trucks – out of local waterways over the next 20 years. “Road systems are perhaps the most significant and easily controlled sources of sediment production and delivery to stream channels,” said a 2004 Napa Resource Conservation District report on Wing Canyon Creek.

Bill Birmingham

Photo: Bill Birmingham, Conservation Project Manager, Napa County Resource Conservation District standing on the Wing Canyon Trail demonstrating the straw hay and grass seeding work to channel water into the stream from eroding hillside.

Some of the improvements were made at creek crossings. Workers replaced undersized culverts with bigger culverts. At the site where that bulldozer was recently at work, we are simply removing three culverts altogether to create a creek-level crossing.

Away from creek crossings, dirt roads can funnel water to certain runoff points. That high-intensity runoff erodes creek banks, according to the Napa County Resource Conservation District. To combat this, workers have created “rolling dips” along the dirt roads, like the gentlest of a children’s roller coaster. “Rolling dips” spread out the drainage points and will protect our roads and trails from slipping away and eliminating our ability to access our own property.