Riparian & Wetland Restoration Home
*Tree and brush removal * Streambank stabilization / bioengineering * Ditch / drain tile remediation * Dike/berm removal * Native plantings * Invasive species control * Erosion control*
In addition to being a recognized leader in the management of terrestrial natural communities, Driftless Land Stewardship LLC has much experience with riparian and wetland restoration projects.
Much of our service area is located within our namesake, The Driftless Area. Having been spared during the most recent glaciation, the Driftless Area is a rugged landscape where, for millions of years, precipitation has eroded a dendritic network of seeps, springs, streams and rivers. Standing water, lakes and the expansive wetlands of younger glacial landscapes, is absent.
Here all water is in motion. Every surface that receives rainfall; every seep and wetland; every ravine, creek and river, like leaves and branches of a tree is part of the Mississippi, one of the largest and most celebrated rivers on Earth.
Along with species extirpations and invasions and the interruption of natural processes brought on by European settlement came hydrological alteration. Wetlands were ditched, tiled and filled; streams were choked with silt, straightened, diked and dammed; natural communities and their hydrological functions (soil binding, evapotranspiration, water retention and groundwater recharge) were altered.
Wetland and riparian rehabilitation often requires not only the restoration of plant communities but also the restoration of hydrological function.
Trout stream management
Prized by anglers, the Driftless Area's cold water streams are renowned for their trout production. Most are stocked with nonnative Brown and Rainbow but many, especially those too cold for the nonnatives, retain their native Brook Trout.
DLS understands and manages cold water stream communities as more than simply "trout streams." It is our belief that traditional management, primarily in-stream habitat creation and bank stabilization, falls short of meeting the ecological needs of the system because it fails to comprehend the complexity and extent of the system. Not only is biodiversity and ecological function neglected, but positive results are unsustainable and the full potential of the fishery itself is unmet.
DLS believes that the best strategy for management of cold water streams, even when trout production is the foremost goal, is to restore ecological form and function of not only the stream itself but the entire landscape in which it occurs. There is no better solution for benefiting native trout than restoring the very system that they are a component of.
Key to our riparian restoration strategy is the application of bioengineering (using combinations of structural practices and live vegetation to provide erosion protection for hillslopes and streambanks) solutions to streambank stabilization and erosion control.
Rather than simply (and expensively) dumping rip-rap to armor eroding stream banks, DLS seeks to restore the natural community that existed prior to alteration, the self-sustaining habitat trout evolved in. With the restoration of the pre-Eurosettlement native plant community comes soil stabilization; clean, cool groundwater input; habitat structure; and aquatic and terrestrial invertebrate communities... exactly the needs of the trout and thus the trout fisherman.
Unique to our approach is the use of innovative biodegradable materials and structures to stabilize and protect streambanks during the reestablishment of the native plant community.