NBS Guidance

Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration or Riverscapes Design Manual

About This Guide

Wheaton, J.M.; Bennett, S.N.; Bouwes, N.; Maestas, J.D. and Shahverdian, S.M. (Editors). (2019). Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration of Riverscapes: Design Manual. Version 1.0. Utah State University Restoration Consortium. Logan, UT. 286 pp.

The purpose of this design manual is to provide restoration practitioners with guidelines for implementing a subset of low-tech tools —namely beaver dam analogues (BDAs) and post-assisted log structures (PALS)—for initiating process-based restoration in structurally-starved riverscapes. While the concept of process-based restoration in riverscapes has been advocated for at least two decades, details and specific examples on how to implement it remain sparse. Here, we describe ‘low-tech process-based restoration’ (LT-PBR) as a practice of using simple, low unit-cost, structural additions (e.g. wood and beaver dams) to riverscapes to mimic functions and initiate specific processes. Hallmarks of this approach include: – An explicit focus on the processes that a low-tech restoration intervention is meant to promote – A conscious effort to use cost-effective, low-tech treatments (e.g. hand-built, natural materials, non-engineered, short-term design life-spans) because of the need to efficiently scale-up application. – ‘Letting the system do the work’ which defers critical decision making to riverscapes and nature’s ecosystem engineers. Other resources available at: https://lowtechpbr.restoration.usu.edu.