The Pahranagat River, which was at one time part of the pluvial White River, historically flowed through Black Canyon. Human alterations including water diversions, irrigation ditches, highway construction, and introduction of non-native, invasive plants have had detrimental effects on the landscape, including the removal of all natural flows from Black Canyon. The goal of this restoration project was to return water to Black Canyon and replace abandoned weedy fields with a native riparian corridor that can provide important nest, food, and water resources for a diversity of animals.
Otis Bay, Inc. designed and constructed a new channel and floodplain to restore hydrologic function and riparian habitat to Black Canyon. The project involved an assessment of the historical drainage system and geomorphic condition of Black Canyon; a description of the morphometry of potential channels in the drainage system; hydrologic and hydraulic analysis to address water capacity and erosion control; NEPA/ environmental impact analysis, planning, mitigation/monitoring, and documentation; and collection of baseline information which includes topographic surveys, geotechnical investigations, identification of water control structures, and an assessment of existing vegetation.
Otis Bay revegetated the north half of the restored channel with over 12,000 native plants in 2014. Planting in the south half of the canyon is tentatively scheduled for fall 2014.