Hillslope and Hydrologic Restoration - unbuilding the roads - Narration

When the California State Parks system took ownership of the Mill Creek property, they inherited a legacy of land-uses that left deep scars on the landscape.

[aerial video of Mill site]
[aerial photographs of clearcut landscape]

These scars consisted of a huge network of roads.

[hi - res lidar image - zoom in]

"There's about 329 miles of road within the park, when we acquired it in 2002,

[Brian Merrill - Face shot, in front of air photo - Title Screen]

"and we've been working since then to inventory the roads, and make an assessment on how they are affecting the watershed

[Pan of map with roads and names]
[Pan down map legend, with road categories]

We're now actively working on those roads, by either removing them, or upgrading them to afford some protection to the watershed

[Natural sound - dozer; close shot of grousers on dozer]Z

Road failures can cause catastrophic landslides which threaten both forests and fish

[Debris flow examples]

Road surface erosion is often a major source of fine sediment to streams.

bleeding road and small culvert]

Inboard ditches drain to culverts, which deliver directly to otherwise clear running streams,

[Driving along road to culvert]
[Ditch and surface runoff footage]

These "chronic" sources of sediment create turbidity and other problems for salmon and other aquatic organisms.

[more turbidity shots]
[salmon on Redd]
Pacific giant salamander]

In order to promote the long-term health and productivity of both forests and streams, an intensive road removal program has been underway since 2004.

[time-lapse of heavy equipment on roads]

Removal of steep fill slopes and culverted stream crossings reduces the likelihood of catastrophic failures.

Removal of fish barrier culverts restores fish passage to areas that have been blocked for decades.

"Right here we have a double barrel pipes that also are upstream migration barriers, and oh, there's another culvert there

this whole section of road will be removed next summer, and eliminate these two fish passage barriers all together.

[close shot of hand on map - fish passage quote - Brian point to road reaches on map]

Removing these roads not only makes ecological sense, it also makes economic sense

" A section of that road was approximately 400,000 dollars. It cost about 40, 000 dollars a year to maintain it. So if you look at the cost to remove that road, we recover our costs in about 10 years. And if you factor in Inflation, we are probably talking somewhere less than that. so by investing

But the long term goal is primarily ecologic

What we're doing here basically is: removing these roads, over time, to build a strong foundation for the recovery of the watershed, the forest and the aquatic system.

[road removal footage - fade to Brian