Restore native vegetation to Wolfe Ranch/Salt Wash bench

Arches National Park » Restore native vegetation to Wolfe Ranch/Salt Wash bench » Document List

Plateau Restoration, a non-profit organization, has received a grant for a restoration project along Salt Wash at Wolfe Ranch, adjacent to the Delicate Arch trail.


The objectives of this project are to:
1. Restore biodiversity to the bench along Salt Wash at Wolfe Ranch by transplanting and seeding of native shrubs and grasses and pole plantings of cottonwood trees and willows.
2. Increase shading of the stream and bench by re-introducing native cottonwood trees and willows.
3. Restore a more natural appearance and function of the stream reach by removing bank-stabilizing tamarisk stumps and excess slash left by earlier tamarisk cutting.
4. Remove the remaining tamarisk in the stream reach without herbicides, by hand-digging and cutting below the root crown.
5. Use this high-visibility area to educate the public about the effects of weed invasions and control methods, and how management actions can affect elements of healthy wildlife habitat.
6. Involve members of the local and visiting public in the restoration efforts, which provides an effective hands-on education and accomplishes measurable on-the-ground results of a visually and functionally enhanced riparian area.
7. Establish a monitoring program to qualitatively evaluate results of the project.
8. Use this demonstration project as a model for the National Park Service and others involved in tamarisk control in the Moab area and for national and international visitors.
9. Provide an attractive site, with shade, for a future interpretive trail through the revegetation area serving as an alternative route to the existing trail and offering an even greater educational opportunity.

Action Plan:

The area targeted for initial restoration is approximately one acre. It includes a strip approximately 100 yards long on the riparian bench between the pedestrian bridge on the Delicate Arch trail and the trailhead parking area. Itemized activities are as follows:
1. A detailed revegetation plan will be developed with NPS resource managers in Fall 20Spring 2007 that will include species selection, and identifying sources of plant materials for transplanting.
2. Plant collection and staging will be initiated on completion of the plan.
3. A monitoring plan will be developed and initial conditions will be documented prior to treatments.
4. Volunteers will be recruited for Spring 2007, most of who will be college students majoring in Education, Environmental Sciences and Resource Management.
5. Removal of excess slash and remaining tamarisk stumps will start in Spring.
6. A drip-irrigation system will be installed to supply water to new plantings. A solar-powered pump will be used to extract water from the creek for the irrigation. If creek water is too saline an alternate method of irrigation will be considered.
7. As stumps are removed, a variety of native grasses and shrubs, selected for their appropriateness and high wildlife value, will be planted and bare areas seeded with native forbs and shrubs.
8. On-going maintenance of the irrigation system, removal of non-native species, replanting of unsuccessful transplants and monitoring will be conducted through the growing season to ensure success and evaluate results of the project.
9. Educational pamphlets will be prepared that address biodiversity, weed invasions and impacts of various control methods. The pamphlets will be available to visitors at the Delicate Arch trailhead, Arches Visitors' Center and at the Moab Information Center.
10. The project will be publicized through a variety of local and regional newspaper articles and through Plateau Restoration's newsletter and website.

Project Evaluation:

Aerial photographs and on-the ground inventories will document conditions before and after the project. Inventories will include vegetation type and cover, soil texture and profile of the stream and its banks, as well as an untreated reference plot.

Contact Information

Dave Wood 435-719-2133