AWRI Information Services Center

Bear Creek Stewardship Plan - Innovations in the Proposed Management Plan

The implementation effort provides an opportunity to incorporate several innovative approaches and practices to watershed improvement. These include:

1. Highly visible partnerships between public and private organizations and individuals to achieve goals. To date, a wide range of "players" have been involved in the planning effort, including local township officials, county commissions and boards, environmental advocacy organizations, local schools and universities, and private citizens. The establishment and maintenance of close working relationships between these entities is expected to be a hallmark of this Project.

2. A visible, active public education and participation component. Many of the program features designed to achieve an informed public are innovative, including WHEELS, HELP, The Bear Creek Players, the Bear Creek Citizens Committee, the video(s), Riparian Clubs, and the 4-H Project.

3. A focused, creative public policy initiative to insure the creation of ordinances or laws, as well as a high level of voluntary compliance with watershed protection practices.

4. The creation of BMPs to serve the entire watershed region, especially where site-specific BMP implementation would be prohibited by excessive costs. In the area of animal waste management, for example, the large number of geographically dispersed livestock sites renders the construction and maintenance of individual site-by-site containment and manure treatment structures too expensive for consideration. Instead, attention will be directed toward the development of a process and associated structures which can contain and treat livestock wastes in a single location for use by all livestock owners.

5. The improvement of fish habitat via in-stream structures. AWRI is currently implementing a grant-funded demonstration project to construct trout habitat structures in Bear Creek. These structures have the potential to enhance the aquatic diversity of the entire stream system.

Page last modified January 19, 2011