Dalton Day Area Restoration

In-stream and Riparian Restoration on the Pecos River at Santa Fe National Forest Dalton Day Use Area

Project Area

The Dalton Day Use Area project directly affect 0.25 stream mile (1,300 feet) and 1.0 acre of floodplain within the project area and is located within a River Steward Program priority area in the Dry Gulch – Pecos River sub-watershed.

Project Description

This section of the Pecos River at the south end of Santa Fe National Forest Dalton Day Use Area was heavily impacted by sediment and ash deposits from post-Tres Lagunas Fire run-off and the estimated 100-year flood of September 13, 2013. Significant deposits of fine sediment occurred in the stream and along banks. Banks were eroded widening the the river channel, thus reducing water depth, and likely resulted in increased water temperature and a reduction of the river’s ability to mobilize sediments. Most of the river’s channel through the project area was now shallow and wide, and lacks good trout habitat.  Prior to this project’s completion, the Forest Service had closed the Dalton Day Use Area, because of the severe effect of storm water runoff from the fire aftermath.”

Project Goals and Objectives

  1. Improve the stream geomorphology by restoring the river channel sinuosity and deepening pools for fish habitat.
  2. Improve resistance to impacts from future floods and future benefit trout habitat by the banks, adjacent floodplain, and riparian area restoration and re-vegetation with native plants and trees.
  3. Decrease water temperature and turbidity by slowing down stream velocity, establishing deep poos and create more shade.

Project Partners

  • New Mexico Environment Department – River Stewardship Program
  • Santa Fe National Forest – Pecos Ranger District
  • Riverbend Engineering, LLC – Engineering design, technical support and construction supervision.
  • Ecosphere Environmental Services, Inc – Environmental clearance and permitting.
  • Criterion Environmental Consulting – Cultural and archaeological resource compliance.

Pre and post project cross section and longitudinal river profiles