El Portal Willow and Native Plant Community Restoration
This project will enhance conditions in the seasonal wetland in the El Portal Administrative site. While generally described in the Merced River Plan (MRP), this Merced River cut-off channel was not mapped as restoration in the MRP (see MRP Final EIS, page 8-209).
This project will include the following actions:
1) Native willows and traditionally used plants will be planted at the site to restore wetland habitat.
2) Mature willows will also be harvested for restoration projects in Yosemite Valley that require willow cuttings for bank stabilization and erosion control. Intentionally producing additional material to meet the future demands of these projects will ensure their success and protect local willow populations from over harvesting.
This site has roads on three sides and housing units on the fourth side. The wetlands are likely connected to the Merced River through subsurface water. In 2011, a dense stand of Himalayan blackberry was treated with herbicide. Dense mats of dead canes still stand in most areas and will be removed prior to willow planting.