Stream Incision on the Chehalis

I kayaked the Chehalis River in Washington two weekends ago, and it was spectacularly beautiful. Water was a perfect temp, scenery was enveloping, and we were on a scientific mission with a geography graduate student! Two things really stood out to me: the amount of beaver activity and the intense incision of the stream. In some sections the erosion was easily 15 feet overhead and it was clear the geology of the area was A TON of sediment. Experts predict extremes will continue to become more extreme, and peak flow (i.e. flooding) is leading to this river to incise, channelize, and erode banks away. In a few cases we passed house perched right on the edge of a 20 foot eroded bank. Tough situation. Michael Pollock et al. showed us beavers can help reduce incision. In this case managers will need a stack of solutions to slow this erosion.

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