Upslope watershed restoration in the Mid Klamath subbasin often focuses on roads. Unmaintained or poorly built roads are a major contributor to soil erosion, often causing landslides, debris flows or hydrological diversion, all of which are detrimental to water quality, fisheries resources, and ecological health.
With funding from the USFS, through the Humboldt County Resource Advisory Committee, the MKWC Roads Program implemented an assessment project on almost 20 miles of private roads in the area. With expertise provided by Pacific Watershed Associates (PWA), MKWC staff was trained to collect assessment data on private roads, as a first step towards prioritizing and developing projects for road upgrading and restoration. Besides compiling and analyzing a lot of data, the project facilitated education and outreach to many Orleans and Somes Bar residents with private roads. The excellent report that PWA provided as a culmination of the project is available at MKWC.
Looking ahead, the Roads program has developed a proposal to do assessments in Western Siskiyou County, where a larger percentage of the land ownership is private, and many miles of roads are unmapped, unmaintained, and potentially harmful to riparian corridors.