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Ecological Projects >> Ash Meadows >> Jackrabbit Spring Outflow Channel

Project:  Habitat Design and Construction of the Jackrabbit Spring Outflow Channel, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Client:  United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Date:  2006-2009

Site Location: Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is located approximately 70 miles northwest of Las Vegas and approximately 35 miles east of Death Valley National Park.  Ash Meadows harbors numerous plant, fish, and invertebrate species that are found nowhere else in the world.

Jackrabbit Spring outflow channel.
Jackrabbit Spring outflow channel.
Project Summary:
The purpose of this project was to restore aquatic habitat for the endangered Ash Meadows pupfish (Cyprinodon nevadensis mionectes) and Ash Meadows speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus nevadensis).  Several man-made impoundments had been constructed along the Jackrabbit Spring outflow channel prior to the establishment of the refuge.  These impoundments had become silted and colonized by tamarisk and cattail.  The purpose of restoration was to remove the impoundments and re-create stream channel habitat that was present prior to the emplacement of the impoundments.  A wildfire occurred in the project area one year prior to construction.  Tamarisk was removed mechanically prior to construction.  A stream channel was constructed following removal of berms and the filling of impoundments with local soils.  Rock was collected from a local source for use in the creation of hydraulic features constructed during channel restoration.  Two undersized culverts were replaced in order to facilitate fish passage and limit the continued presence of cattail marsh due to the backwater effect of the previously undersized culvert.  All plant materials for revegetation projects at Ash Meadows were collected from within the refuge in order to preserve local plant genetics, accommodate for local climate and soil conditions, and prevent the introduction of non-native plant species.  Nursery stock was grown at the Community College of Southern Nevada greenhouse and a drip irrigation system was installed.  Both Ash Meadows pupfish (Cyprinodon nevadensis mionectes) and Ash Meadows speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus nevadensis) were observed in the stream channel shortly after construction.

Project Update:
This project has been completed.

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