San Antonio Creek

Santa Fe National Forest, NM

In 2020, we expanded upon previous restoration efforts along San Antonio Creek in the Santa Fe National Forest between the western boundary of the Valles Caldera and the San Antonio hot springs.

We installed 9 BDAs and 17 log baffles within the stream channel, and protected a 10 acre swath of riparian meadow from elk and cattle browse using fencing with passthroughs for recreational access. We decommissioned .25 miles of old road, installed erosion control structures in several ephemeral, eroding gullies and reset two eroded alluvial fans.


Above is a sampling of the BDAs (Beaver Dam Analogs) built along San Antonio Creek, including a post-less BDA. Our BDAs have mostly utilized posts as anchors to lodge other woody materials against, in order to create robust structures. Surface bedrock along some stretches of stream posed a creative challenge and opportunity to construct some without posts.


The photos above show before and during the process of improving drainage on the old road running alongside San Antonio Creek. Scroll to see the old gully (on the right side of the photos) caused by concentrated flow from uphill and the grading of the old road. We outsloped this section of road and filled in the gully with wood, rocks and sediment, recreating the convex shape of an alluvial fan in order to disperse flow across the whole area. Above the road, in the trees, we plugged the gully at various points with woody material to slow water flow and accumulate sediment, in order to continue growing the convex alluvial fan shape uphill.

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