Building dams is the old-fashioned and ineffective way of constructing wetlands and ponds. Tom Biebighauser has developed highly effective and low-cost techniques for removing dams to restore natural wetlands and streams in valleys and on large floodplains. The wetlands are being restored without the use of dams, dikes, berms, ditches, diversions, canals, water control structures, pipes, or pumps. The dams and dikes that were built to create artificial impoundments are also being removed with wetlands and streams being restored to reconnect rivers and streams with historic floodplains to greatly improve habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, fish, and rare species of animals and plants.
This presentation will show how wetlands, streams, and rivers are being restored from constructed impoundments on the Yaqan Nukiy Hunting Grounds near Creston, British Columbia, Canada. This landscape-scale project is a first of its kind in British Columbia involving the restoration of floodplains, wetlands, streams, and rivers damaged by the construction of impoundments, dams, ditches, and the installation of pipes and pumps. The project was designed to increase wildlife and fish populations on the traditional Yaqan Nukiy Hunting Grounds, including the following at-risk species: Northern leopard frog, Western painted turtle, white sturgeon, and burbot.