Burnt River Watershed BRAT

DATE: October 22, 2018
VENUE: Powder Basin Watershed Council, 2034 Auburn Avenue, Suite B, Baker City, OR 97814
SPONSOR(S): Powder Basin Watershed Council & Idaho Power
HOST: Christo Morris

In Attendance

Name Organization Role
Wally Macfarlane Utah State University ETAL Burnt River BRAT Project Manager & Senior Researcher
Joe Wheaton Utah State University ETAL Burnt River BRAT Project Principle Investigator
Christo Morris Powder Basin Watershed Council Executive Director
Anna Morgan Powder Basin Watershed Council Outreach Coordinator & Water Quality Monitoring
Dorothy Mason Powder Basin Watershed Council Board President
Ben Titus Powder Basin Watershed Council Board Secretary/Treasurer
Justin Rowell North Fork John Day Watershed Council Executive Director
Brian Ratliff Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Baker District Wildlife Biologist

Worshop Materials

As a group, we worked through the concepts underlying BRAT, and specific, provisional outputs in the Burnt River Watershed. Below are interactive viewers (broken out by topic section) of the slides we covered. Note that we skipped over many of these slides, or covered them in passing in discussion. They are provided here for your reference. A complete PDF of slides is also available.

Workshop Slides

Intros: Aims & Scope of Work

We started with introductions, a review of project aims, a review of our scope of work and progress to date, and some background to set the stage.

Overview of BRAT

Before diving into the weeds, we covered at a high level what BRAT produces:

BRAT Capacity Modelling

cIS - You do it

Before trusting the BRAT capacity model, we rolled up our sleves and all the workshop participants filled out a BRAT cIS form and filled out with some desktop exercises as well as in the field.

cFIS - The Gory Details

We did digress into the details underlying the BRAT capacity model, so you can better evaluate how the model is doing.


Assessing Risks

We take a look at where the streams are relative to infrastructure and higher intensity land use, and then take a conservative look at where that aligns with where beaver could potentially build dams.

Making BRAT Conservation & Restoration Outputs Yours

To build ownership of the models, we discussed what could be done by the group to improve the outputs.

Extra Slides for Reference

In these slides, we have some background context on Riverscapes, valley settings, using fish capacity & life cycle modelling, the Birch Creek Restoration Anecdote from Jay Wilde, and some of Konrad Hafen’s work on modelling water storage associated with beaver dams. We didn’t get to any of these in our workshop, but provide them here for your reference.

Photos from Workshop as well as Wally & Joe’s Fieldwork


Participatnts, click on above picture to view Google Photos Album.

And it is Topical!

Here’s a fun little NPR piece on why beavers may help save us from drought that played the Monday after our workshop:

And thanks to the workshop participants for sending us to Barley Brown’s:

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