Funding Agency: Department of Environmental Quality
Project Location: Latitude: 46.7854 N Longitude: -116.1378 W
Target Pollutants: Sediment, temperature, nutrients, and bacteria
Waterbody Type(s): Perennial
Hydrologic Unit Code: 17060308
To decrease non-point source pollutant loads, the Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute (PCEI) planted over 1,500 native trees and shrubs along Partridge Creek near Elk River in Clearwater County, Idaho. This is a cooperative restoration project took place on US Forest service property and involved local students, community organizations and volunteers. The Partridge Creek project was designed to help ensure compliance with the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), and protect the drinking water for the community of Elk River.
The goal of the Partridge Creek Riparian Restoration and Drinking Water Protection Project is to improve water quality for the community of Elk River’s water supply. The primary objectives are restoring the natural riparian plant community, stabilizing stream banks, and educating the community on the importance of surface water as a source of drinking water.583,900 square feet of riparian area was revegetated using native species from the PCEI Learning Nursery resulting in stabilized banks and increased filtration of nutrients and bacteria from upland areas. An interpretive sign was installed in the popular Rinky Dink Campground informing campers about the goals of the restoration. PCEI also participated in local community events and held several Watershed Festivals at the site for local elementary school students. project and the go community will be informed and educated about the project.
The project will provide both measurable, direct water quality improvements and more intangible benefits through education and public outreach. The project was also designed to help ensure safer drinking water and reduced treatment costs for the community of Elk River.
Currently all-terrain vehicles (ATV’s) and other human activities impact the riparian area and stream banks in Christianson Meadows. Until 2005, cattle occupied the meadow every spring, causing additional impacts to the stream and riparian area.
Past Land Uses (Spring 2005): Until 2005, grazing interests had a serious impact on the health of Christianson Meadow’s waterways, riparian areas, and upland hillsides.
Past Land Uses (Spring 2005): Logging, in addition to grazing, have changed the landscape in the meadow. Enormous rotting in stumps in various phases of decay populate the riparian areas of Partridge Creek.
Camas in the Spring (May 2005): Camas (Camassia quamash) blooms a blue to white flower from May through June in Christianson Meadows.
Field of Camas (May 2005): A sea of camas arising in large patches in the meadow. Historically, the camas root was an important food staple for many native tribes.
AmeriCorps Members Enjoy the Rain (May 2005): AmeriCorps members, Ciara Cusack, Mike Danahy, Randy Stephens, and Emily Poor explore Christianson Meadow in the rain.
Christianson Meadow (May 2005): This photo provides a good representation of the landscape near Partridge Creek: wet meadow with abundant grasses and sedges, all framed with firs, pines, and some deciduous plants.
ATV Damage in the Meadow (May 2005): Erosion and damage to the meadow was caused by ATV users straying off the trail.
Beaver Lodge (May 2005): Beavers are active along Partridge Creek and help to define its hydrology. By building their dams, beavers slow down the flow Partridge Creek decreased flow velocities help reduce sediment transport and improve change the wildlife habitat.
Volunteer Day (May 2006): The Deary High School Forestry Class volunteered to help the Watersheds Crew with planting in Christianson Meadows.
Volunteer Workday (June 2006): Fifteen volunteers from Moscow, Idaho help plant natives trees and shrubs during the restoration efforts.
Watershed Festival (September 2007): 83 students from elementary schools in Deary and Bovill learned about the watershed during the 2nd Annual Partridge Creek Watershed Festival. These students helped plant 145 native trees and shrubs. The students also learned about macroinvertebrates, the water cycle, and the wildlife that use the meadow.
Sign Installation (September 2007): AmeriCorps members, Talina Gossen and John Sugden, take a break from the Watershed Festival to install a beautiful, interpretive sign. This sign details our efforts to improve water quality in the Elk River area. It’s located near Rinky Dink Campground. Check it out.