Salt River Ecosystem Restoration Project, Phase 2A Middle

For Hanford Applied Restoration & Conservation

Campbell Grading, Inc., provided project management, crew, and equipment for a challenging phase of the Salt River Ecosystem Restoration Project—a multiyear effort to restore the river’s ecological and hydrologic functions, improve fish and wildlife habitat, reduce sedimentation, improve drainage, and reduce flooding of agricultural land.

Potentially record-setting El Nino winter rains were forecast, so we needed to finish before they began. By accelerating the schedule and running 12-hour shifts, we finished a full month early.

The work, located off Port Kenyon Road near Ferndale, CA, involved excavating sediment along about a mile of river channel and hauling off channel materials. The team excavated 60,000 cubic yards of soil, off-hauled the bulk of it to neighboring ranches authorized to take the soil, and placed some as berms within the project area.

The work generally consisted of grubbing, stripping vegetation, excavating, re-creating the river channel, hauling the sediment, placing large wood habitat structures, and applying seed and mulch. A 70 percent plant cover was required. We used sheetpile at the downstream end of the project to prevent tidal influx. The work area included riparian zones and adjacent tidal and freshwater wetlands.

The  work took place within habitat of listed species—the California red-legged frog, Coho salmon, Chinook salmon, rainbow trout, and coastal cutthroat trout.

The prime contractor for the phase was Hanford Applied Restoration & Conservation, selected by the lead agency on the project, the Humboldt County Resource Conservation District.  Hanford  turned to Campbell Grading, Inc., for its expertise, and, because Hanford could not add a subcontractor, Barth Campbell and his people were placed on Hanford’s payroll. Campbell Grading, Inc., supplied most of the heavy equipment and operators.