Congratulations to Mike Homza, Director of Water Resources and Habitat Enhancement, and to the Boise Operation for recently being awarded an ACEC award for their recent work on the Diggie Creek Enhancement Project.
The Diggie Creek Enhancement Project is a small project with a big impact. Diggie Creek is one of several spring-fed streams on the Fort Hall Bottoms; an environmentally and culturally significant ecosystem on the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ Reservation in eastern Idaho.
Prior to restoration, the stream had become unnaturally shallow, over-widened, sediment-laden, and flanked by steep, eroding, denuded banks; a condition representative of 85% of the tribal streams. This project restored approximately 1,200 lineal feet of stream and 4 acres of habitat essential to native cultural and natural resources. More importantly, however, it served as a Pilot Project to refine restoration policies and practices for the 40+ miles of similarly degraded streams throughout the Bottoms.
Highlights from this project include:
- Unique spring-fed ecosystem impacted by distant water management practices;
- Innovative, sustainable stream design that emulates a natural stream system;
- Complex instream and riparian habitats supporting a multi-tiered food web and all life stages of the native fishery as well as native local and migratory birds and wildlife;
- Innovative use of an operable, temporary stream diversion structure during construction;
- Complex process of acquiring and delivering natural building materials from throughout the Reservation
- Complex coordination with multiple tribal and private entities to satisfy broad tribal concerns involving: Endangered species, invasive species, cultural resources, conflicting land uses, economics, and tribal employment;
- Informative pilot project guiding similar enhancement projects on the reservation;
- Successful fulfillment of client needs, adherence to client’s schedule and budget, and successful achievement of the short- and long-term goals of the project and client.