New Fork River Restoration Project planning begins
by Bureau of Land Management
February 22, 2018
PINEDALE, WYOMING - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Pinedale Field Office and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) are proposing a project to improve stream and riparian habitat and boating access on the New Fork River near Pinedale.
This restoration project is located on the New Fork River at the "old" boat ramp site referred to as the "Gas Well Site." This project helps BLM provide opportunities for economic growth with space for traditional uses such as ranching, mining, logging, and energy development as well as hunting and fishing.
BLM and WGFD staff are developing the environmental assessment, which will analyze any impacts of this project. The New Fork River Habitat Restoration and Boat Access project would improve boat access and improve stream and riparian habitat. Fish habitat would be improved by increasing pool habitat and diversity in the river by creating a narrower and deeper river and by decreasing river bank erosion. Ultimately, these habitat improvements will increase trout abundance in this section of the New Fork River. This section of the river currently has some of the lowest trout numbers, based off WGFD electrofishing population surveys. This part of the river also contributes over 3,000 tons of sediment each year due to erosion from unstable banks.
The restoration work would be completed in two phases. Phase one would reconstruct the boat access site and address riparian habitat and erosion issues immediately upstream and downstream of the boat access. The reconstruction of the old boat launch site would increase public access at the boat ramp access area, providing a higher quality recreational experience.
The second phase will address the remaining river and riparian habitat issues within the two-mile segment of the river. Some of the proposed work includes using trees with roots attached as anchors along the riverbank, decreasing the slope of eroding banks, and planting sedges, grasses, willows, and other vegetation to increase stability to the streambank and deflect water from the bank. Other improvements include rerouting short segments of the stream channel, increasing the number of pools, and fencing to protect treated areas.
For more information, call Alex Gardiner, BLM, (307) 878-4500, or Luke Schultz, WGFD, (307) 367-4352.