Riparian North

Concept

This project is seeking to enhance a section of a continuous stream 6-8 feet wide and extending some 200 meters north-south from where it enters ChicoryLane property to where it is joined by another stream that flows east-west. The area of concern extends some 50 feet on each side of the stream, varying according to the topography. The stream is the primary natural feature of the area along with some dozen native plant species. The main focus of the project is enhancement through increasing seleced species, reducing less desirable or invasive ones, and introduce several complementary new species not ccurrently found in that area.

The Stream

This perennial stream is the larger of two unnamed tributaries of Penns Creek flowing through ChicoryLane in Penns Valley. This stream originates in a spring on Brush Mountain, goes underground in Brush Valley’s karst terrain, rises in Penns Cave to mingle with other tributaries streaming from the Cave through wetlands into Penns Valley. In the mid-1800s farmers re-routed a part of this almost braided stream eastward and straightened it to flow through their properties along (now-named) Brush Mountain Road. Our farm (now-named ChicoryLane) was among them. Now in 2022 this large tributary still flows down a wooded cut in a shoulder of Brush Mountain and passes under Green Grove Road to wind through ChicoryLane’s marshy old fields; bypass its farm pond; merge with a smaller tributary streaming west from yet another spring further east on Brush Mountain, and gooseneck alongside vernal pools in a restored wetland. The merged streams then leave ChicoryLane to flow south into Muddy Creek and Sinking Creek and join Penns Creek.

On a neighbor’s property, riparian woods along this perennial stream were recently clear-cut to create pasture for cattle, effectively halving a habitat for deer and migratory birds.  A cattle crossing will be made through the tributary. South of the intended cattle crossing, the tributary flows through the highest protection area of ChicoryLane, a conserved farm.

Steps