The Bunker Hill Hillsides: A Case Study in the Use of Adaptive Management in Early Successional Restoration on the Nation's Largest Superfund Site
Journal American Society of Mining and Reclamation
Active hillsides restoration included development and installation of site prescriptions using adaptive management and monitoring of results. Initial prescriptions for hillsides restoration and their implementation were based on a combination of site characterization and demonstration studies. Prescriptions were modified over time as the results of past activities became evident. Hillsides have responded well to prescriptions and successional processes appear to have been re-initiated. Adaptive
... initiated. Adaptive management induced prescription modifications including changing liming materials to improve performance, increasing seeding rate to improve initial plant canopy cover, adjusting seed mix composition to remove poorly germinating species and adding herbaceous species with exceptional establishment and growth performance, increasing shrub sizes to improve establishment, and selecting tackifiers that reflected actual site performance of the products. Target plant covers were 50 percent or greater and overall plant canopy cover from 1998 and 1999 operational hydroseeding averaged over 61 percent after two growing seasons. Red top, bluegrass, sheep fescue, Idaho fescue, and timothy dominate the seeded communities. Plant and mulch cover is approximately 10 percent higher on east-facing slopes compared to west-facing slopes. Areas of low cover are often composed of rock pavement surfaces. New seedlings are emerging and volunteer plant species are appearing on the slopes. Turbidity of surface water emanating from the hillside watersheds has dropped substantially from past years. Instantaneous comparisons between background turbidity at the mouths of Government and Deadwood creeks indicate that State of Idaho water quality standards are being met in most cases. Early successional processes appear to be emerging on the hills with assistance provided by wildlife.