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Ecological Projects >> Ash Meadows >> Upper Carson Slough and Crystal Spring Management Units Assessment

Project:  Biophysical Assessment and Restoration Plan:  Upper Carson Slough and Crystal Spring Management Units

Client:  United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Date:  October 2007 – December 2012

Site Location:   Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, Nye County, NV

Ash Meadows Amargosa pupfish feeding on algae in a restored spring pool.
Ash Meadows Amargosa pupfish feeding on algae in a restored spring pool.
Project Summary:
In this overview restoration plan, Otis Bay built upon knowledge gained from previous studies and spring restoration projects on Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (AHME).  This report assessed local spring hydrology, including discussions of natural landform processes that influenced historical spring channel patterns and the environment in which unique plant and animal communities of AHME evolved.  Otis Bay also identified and mapped current spring flow patterns and hydrologic barriers to water flow.  Restoring spring complexes within AHME to recover unique spring species is a current management goal that is challenged by years of habitat modification and invasive species’ introductions.  This report addressed removal of hydrologic barriers and returning spring channel alignments to patterns that can be sustained by natural processes in a dynamic system.  Factors such as existing topography, natural hydrology, archaeological site locations, rare species locations, and presence of weeds or invasive aquatic species were considered in the restoration design process.

This planning document provided restoration recommendations for springs, channels, and wetland habitats of: the Upper Carson Slough, a spring-fed wetland area located in the northwestern corner of AHME; Crystal Spring Management Unit, including springs south of the Upper Carson Slough; and Point of Rocks, Kings, Forest, Davis, Tubbs, and Bradford springs complex, which connect to Lower Crystal Reservoir. 

Project Update:
A final report was submitted to USFWS in December of 2012.

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