I just skimmed a little bit of that last article, and I wish to read it in its entirety later. Thanks for posting that. That article recognizes the value of woody debris, something that the old ideas of "flood control" and "lets get this river flowing faster" failed to recognize, to the great detriment of many rivers. Thankfully, at least around here, government agencies involved in such things have long abandoned such ideas.
Some folks in our local paddling club made a big project of opening a path through deadfall obstacles on a creek near here, and they got approval from the DNR to do so, but with the stipulation that removal of material be kept to a minimum. "Clearing" the creek, even at particular locations, would not have been permitted. An earlier post here about government agencies being interested in maintaining clear flow makes me think some backward states are clinging to ancient ideas about "improving" the natural condition of things. Thank goodness that's becoming less and less common.
On that topic, I heard a talk at Canoecopia addressing this very thing, but in regard to developed lake shores. It's been found that even the small amounts of brush laying in the water along a lake shore (the amount of brush is infinitely small relative to the volume of water when compared to most rivers) is critical habitat for lots of life, things on which everything else ultimately depends. When every landowner removes that little bit of brush from the water in front of their house, just to make it look nice, the negative consequences are pretty severe.
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