Fish, Fowl & Farms

Very nice article from the California Water Blog on how the three can benefit from better planning around engineered floodplains.

An excerpt.

Floodplains are extremely productive habitats for native fish and birds, yet floodplains in California are cut off from rivers by levees and development. The loss of this severed habitat threatens many native species that evolved to take advantage of seasonal flooding.

Ecologists’ traditional approach to this problem would be to recreate some of the historical floodplain by restoring natural flows and vegetation. In much of California, however, levees, dams and riverside development make restoration impractical.

Recognizing these constraints, reconciliation ecology encourages land and water managers to re-engineer human-dominated landscapes to be more hospitable for native species without significantly diminishing human uses.

California’s Yolo Bypass, an engineered floodplain on the Sacramento River, is an excellent case study of this new approach to native species conservation.

As a doctoral student with the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences I recently developed a computer model to balance economic and ecological goals in the bypass under a range of habitat quality assumptions.

Retrieved December 3, 2014 from

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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