(Last Updated September 2005)
The total Albion Watershed encompasses 27,512 acres, of which MRC owns 14,806 acres or 54%. MRC's 2002 timber inventory in the Albion watershed holdings is 312 million board feet of redwood, Douglas-fir, and other conifers. MRC's annual conifer harvest from its Albion Watershed acreage ranges from 1.5% to 2.5% of this inventory. Careful logging and continued work on restoration projects will support and enhance the large number of Northern Spotted Owls, Coho salmon, and other wildlife species found in this drainage. MRC is currently involved in restoration work that was identified during watershed analysis of the Albion completed in 1999 and updated in 2004 as well as ongoing review.
Some examples of this work completed, currently underway or planned for includes:
- Replacing an undersized, failing culvert at the mouth of Norden Gulch (please see below for additional information) with two bridges, in order to re-open 2000' of anadromous fisheries habitat. Steelhead returned to the stream the next year. In 2005, Coho where found in the stream for the third consecutive year.
- Created the 87 acre Comptche Hill Easement.
- Replacing an undersized culvert with a bridge on Little North Fork of the South Fork at the Keene Summit Road.
- Removing perched fill material along legacy roads in Soda Spring Gulch.
- Abandoning one section of road which includes removing a Class I crossing and re-contouring of the road on Little North Fork of the South Fork.
- Removing culverts and installing rocked rolling dips in Little North Fork of the South Fork.
- Downgrading the River Road from the Confluence of the main stem of the Albion River and South Fork to up stream of Duck Pond Gulch from a haul route to a jeep trail by removing all culverts.
- Abandoning a road and landing associated with THP 1-99-199 by removing culverts and pulling perched fills.
- Replacing a low water crossing with a bridge on the main stem of the Albion River, at the confluence with the South Fork Albion River.
- Replacing two low-water crossings with bridges on the South Fork Albion River.
- Replacing a low-water crossing with a bridge at the mouth of Clearbrook on the main stem of the Albion River.
- Rocking and installing rolling dips on Tombell road, above and beyond the recommendations in THPs 1-97-380 and 1-98-350.
- Replacing ditch relief culverts with rocked rolling dips on the Clearbrook access road from Tombell flat.
- Completing a sediment control project along the Melbourne road system which included out sloping roads, installing rolling dips, and controlling 18,360 cubic yards of sediment by removing perched fill.
- Working with California Department of Fish and Game, California Conservation Corps, Center for Energy and Manpower Resources, to add large woody debris (LWD) in the form of large stumps and logs to the South Fork Albion and main stem Albion Rivers to enhance stream channel structure and fish habitat.
- Replaced a partial fish barrier culvert with a bridge on Tombell Creek.
- Replaced two partial fish barrier culverts with bridges near Winery Gulch.
- Replaced a partial fish barrier culvert with a bridge at Deadman Gulch.
- Decommissioned a spur road off the Deadman road by pulling to failed culverts and removing perched fill.
- Replaced a partial fish barrier culvert with a bridge at Slaughterhouse Gulch.
- Replaced a low water crossing on the main stem at the Tombell rock pit with a bridge.
- Replaced a low water crossing on East Railroad Gulch with a bridge.
- Rocked the WLPZ portion of the Lower East Railroad Gulch road system.
- Rocked three miles of road leading to Bullteam Gulch.
Norden Gulch Bridge - Results
(Last Revised 11/7/2001)
Norden Gulch is a tributary to the South Fork of the Albion River. The South Fork has long been known to provide habitat for coho salmon and steelhead trout. Norden Gulch, however, has had a culvert for at least the last forty years which has resulted in a substantial drop from the outlet to the South Fork. This drop has prevented fish from accessing this tributary. Working with California Department of Forestry and California Department of Fish and Game, we assessed the habitat quality for fish in Norden Gulch in 1999. It was determined that if fish could access Norden Gulch, there would be approximately 1200 feet of low gradient, forest canopied, moderately LWD loaded, pool-riffle habitat opened up for fish. Barring a bedrock obstruction at the mouth, it was likely that the culvert and fill could be removed and a more accessible, natural stream bottom could be established with a bridge placement. The work was completed in the summer of 1999. The result was a double bridge placement and a stream grade that gently sloped into the confluence with South Fork Albion. The Mendocino Redwood Company's forest science group surveyed later that summer and no fish were found present in Norden Gulch. However, during fisheries surveys conducted in the summer of 2000 and 2001, a juvenile steelhead trout was detected utilizing a pool in lower Norden Gulch. Mendocino Redwood Company will continue to monitor Norden Gulch in anticipation of adult steelhead entering in the near future.