The Junes Branch Restoration Site is located near the town of Sylva in the western mountains of North Carolina. The entrenched streams suffered from significant bank stress, bank erosion, poor habitat and water quality. Past agriculture practices included the relocation of portions of the main channel to the edge of the valley and the dredging of other reaches to drain the floodplain and historical wetlands. Livestock grazing had further degraded the stream conditions and impacted water quality.
The goal of the project was to restore ecological function to the existing streams by returning Bumgarner Branch and its main tributary, Junes Branch, to a proper relationship with the floodplain. The streams were constructed as type B4 streams throughout most of the project length. Bumgarner Branch has a drainage area of 1.05 square miles and was constructed with a bankfull width of 15 feet and a width/depth ratio of 16. Junes Branch has a drainage area of 0.24 square miles and was constructed with a bankfull width of 8.7 feet and a width/depth ratio of 14. Installation of brush, rock and wood structures were used to enhance channel stability and increase habitat diversity. Restoration efforts also involved re-composition of the stream bed using native on-site bed material.
The Cochran Branch Site was developed as a full delivery mitigation site by Resource Environmental Solutions (RES) for the North Carolina Division of Mitigation Services. Wolf Creek Engineering provided design and construction oversight for the restoration of 3,100 feet of streams. Construction was performed by North State Environmental, Inc. and was completed in 2014.
2 months after restoration
Aerial photos 6 months after restoration