Tag Archives: river

Independence Day for the Penobscot River

Nok-Noi Ricker of the Bangor Daily News reports that removal of dams near Old Town Maine as part of the Penobscot River Restoration Project has had an added benefit for those who like whitewater. Quoting Scott Phillips, chair of the upcoming Penobscot River Whitewater Nationals Regatta, “It’s got some challenging whitewater rapids. Since we took the dams out, it’s a challenge [for paddlers].”

The national competition held each year by the American Canoe Association will take place this year on a 9.4-mile stretch of newly freed river from July 22-26. >Read More


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Sprague Elected to Lead National Mitigation Banking Association

From Left: Don Ross, Donna Collier, Randy Vogel, Michael Sprague, Bart James

National Mitigation Banking Association Board (NMBA) Officers from left: Don Ross, Donna Collier, Randy Vogel, Michael Sprague, and NMBA Executive Director Bart James

Michael Sprague of Trout Headwaters, Inc. was recently elected President of the National Mitigation Banking Association’s (NMBA) board of directors at the association’s annual meeting and conference held in Orlando, Florida.

The 15-member board is made up of environmental professionals from across the U.S. working to support and enable stream, wetland and habitat restoration. NMBA works to satisfy federal wetland and stream requirements within the Clean Water Act, federal species mitigation requirements within the Endangered Species Act, as well as biodiversity and other conservation needs for private and public lands.

“We are thrilled Mike has agreed to lead the association this year,” said NMBA’s immediate past-president Wayne White of Sacramento, California“Mike’s tireless work on the board the last few years, especially last year as vice president working on strategies for data analysis, industry tax incentives, marketing and growth of our association, and improving regulation and regulatory review has been a tremendous help in solidifying the NMBA’s standing with Government and Regulatory agencies throughout the nation, ” he said.

Restoration, enhancement, and preservation of important wetlands, streams, or other habitats are the backbone of the industry. Sprague’s company, Trout Headwaters, Inc. has pioneered sustainable approaches to stream, wetland, and habitat renewal and repair since 1995.

“I’m humbled and honored to be asked to help lead the National Mitigation Banking Association Board at a time when our industry’s work is so valued by both government and the conservation community. My fellow board members and NMBA’s broader membership have proven to be fine industry stewards, all giving of their time and extensive expertise to help restore and protect water and vital species habitat throughout the U.S.”  More via Ecosystem Marketplace 

The NMBA brings together leaders who are committed to restoring and conserving America’s wetlands, streams, and other habitat resources – a concept that unites sound economic and environmental practices. First established in 1998, the organization promotes federal legislation and regulatory policy that encourages mitigation banking as a means of compensating for adverse impacts to our nation’s environment.

To learn more about NMBA http://www.mitigationbanking.org

For more on Trout Headwaters, Inc.  http://www.troutheadwaters.com

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Restoration Works Since 1995

A “Johnny Willowseed” Approach

In 1995, Trout Headwaters, Inc (THI) was founded to provide service to private, non-profit, and government clients.  At a time when only a handful of private entities across the U.S. were providing stream, wetland, or habitat restoration services, the company quickly became a recognized leader in “soft” biostabilization and riparian restoration strategies.

2010505 101For many years the company has teamed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others to develop and refine these environmentally superior techniques for stream stabilization and restoration.  A state regulator, reviewing one of THI’s early landmark projects remarked that we had used a “Johnny Willowseed” approach.  Working WITH nature has indeed been a precept of the firm since its founding and one that we’re immensely proud to continue through today.

Proven, Practical Innovation  

Back in 2001, THI began developing and testing proprietary technologies for river, stream and wetland inventory, assessment, design, and monitoring.  Ultimately, several of these processes were commercialized and patented by sister company THI RiverWorks.  The work of building and commercializing technology for the restoration industry, including big data platforms Mitigation Analyst and EcoBlu Analyst, continues through today.

Narciso RodriguezSo while Trout Headwaters continues to offer the same services it did when first founded, the company has constantly changed and improved its process and its products.  This commitment to improving quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness has resulted in now more than 450 successful projects all across the U.S.  The company’s work has been featured in diverse publications including Erosion Control, Landscape Architect, Huffington Post, Land Report, and many others. See Recent Work via Blurb

Customer Focus

Expect however our hallmark to remain always unchanged: A dedication to serving the nation’s most discriminating clients by delivering cost-effective and ecologically beneficial restoration products and services.

THI Project Copyright 2012At THI our guiding principle is always to stay customer-focused. Each one of our clients has helped us achieve what we believe to be the lead position in the aquatic restoration industry.   But why take our word for it, listen to a sample of what our clients are saying:

“You and your team were nothing short of spectacular! Great communication on all projects and their status, along with an attitude that reflects your sincere care and passion for your profession consistently exceeded my expectations.” – 3 Peaks Ranch

“As you know I’ve worked with other firms on river restoration projects, prior to engaging THI.  As such, I have come to appreciate the quality of your firm’s work in an industry where many firms offer dramatic results but fail to deliver.”- River Ranch Restoration 

“We have received award-winning attention for our sustainable, green design and development efforts, much of which is directly attributable to THI.” – Cielo Falls

To learn more Contact Us

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DeClassified: Why Proper Assessment Is Key

Copyright Trout Headwaters Inc 2013 YR (3)At Trout Headwaters we put a lot of emphasis on stream, wetland and habitat assessment.  Our unwavering belief in scientifically-sound assessments of natural resources and habitats led us to develop patented systems, process and methods RiverWorks Rapid Assessment System® and the environmental big data system EcoBlu Analyst.

As practicioners will attest, simple classification systems and models are no substitute for proven, thorough assessment techniques or good data or appropriate multi-disciplinary restoration design. Our streams, wetlands and other habitats are simply far too important.

A noteworthy 2005 article by several prominent scientists commenting on a then-popular classification system and restoration strategy concluded: “Practitioners concerned with professional liability and with the future of their professions would do well to provide design services based on peer-reviewed professional standards.”

We’d argue that the key to real restoration lies in removing human-caused disturbances and providing for sustainable, adaptive and long-term resource management. Successful projects start with thorough assessment.


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Assessment and Monitoring – The Keys to Successful Restoration

THI on baseline assessmentA baseline assessment can best be described as the basis by which to judge the success of any action taken to conserve, protect, enhance or restore water resources or habitats. Monitoring, when properly executed, continues to evaluate the health of the resource after any action is taken in order to track results in a meaningful way.  This is the critical feedback loop to insure successful restoration and prudent adaptive resource management.

Trout Headwaters Inc performs baseline assessments to meet a variety of objectives, and to guide all restoration planning, design and installation. New technologies have made the assessment process quick and low cost – certainly the best investment toward a successful enhancement or restoration project.

Assessments can do the following:

  • Reveal ecological potential and challenges;
  • Answer project feasibility questions;
  • Uncover hidden problems before you renew, repair or restore;
  • Provide baseline data for permitting and for comparison over time;
  • Add value to property acquisition due diligence;
  • Prevent costly surprises.

 >Request our free Assessment FAQ

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Experience EcoBlu Podcast Series – A Millers River

Join host Mike Sprague from Trout Headwaters to explore a wide cross section of applied ecological restoration in the U.S.  In this series, Experience EcoBlu takes you from the laboratory to the field and from the theory to the ground with some of the top YellowstoneRiverOar.THI.JareckeCopyright2013experts, scientists and policy-makers.

“As moderator for this series, I thought we’d start where I started, near a small town in western Massachusetts, on the eve of the Clean Water Act.   On the Millers River…


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When it Comes to Restoring Rivers – Sometimes it’s Better to Swim Upstream

Picture3THIPiles of rock or concrete dumped along a stream bank does not equal restoration. In fact, we believe it can often do more harm than good. Trout Headwaters, Inc takes a “do-no-harm” approach to restoration. We’ve pioneered the reliable use of “soft” materials, like natural fiber mats anchored with live native plants, to protect river and stream banks from erosion. Rocks just don’t grow. Just because everyone else is restoring waterways a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s right. We’ve become comfortable with swimming upstream.  After all, the trout seem to prefer it that way. Learn more by contacting us.

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Lawsuit Filed Over Fate of Yellowstone River Pallid Sturgeon

Dam across Yellowstone-IntakeMTA significant irrigation dam across the Yellowstone River is part of a lawsuit filed this month by Defenders of Wildlife and Natural Resources Defense Council against three federal agencies. The groups claim that the pallid sturgeon, a species which dates back to the days that dinosaurs roamed Montana, has declined sharply over the past century due to dams built in the Missouri River drainage.  The lawsuit contends that a planned $59 million dollar upgrade on the Yellowstone  River dam will only build a larger dam, according to the Associated Press.  >Read More http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/article_fded1176-7a0f-5cad-bc44-cd981def5382.html


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Restoration Notes from the Field – Assessment Principles and Practice

20150203THICopyright1Trout Headwaters has been providing water resource assessment, inventory and monitoring as part of successful restoration for many years, and continually look for ways to decrease costs and increase value for our clients. Since field data collection demands specialized equipment and skilled personnel, some project managers skip the assessment process altogether and more still fail to monitor the outcomes.

Anyone undertaking restoration should insist upon a good baseline assessment and monitoring program. Such an assessment can best be described as the basis by which to judge the success of any action taken to conserve, protect, enhance or restore water resources. Monitoring is performed on an ongoing basis to continue to evaluate the health of the resource after any action is taken in order to track results in a meaningful way.

Trout Headwaters performs baseline assessments to meet a variety of client objectives, and to guide all restoration planning, design and installation. New technologies have made the assessment process efficient, repeatable and low-cost – certainly the best investment toward a successful stream, river or wetland restoration project. Learn more about assessment tools and processes by visiting our sister company http://www.riverworks.net

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River, Wetland and Habitat Restoration – First Do No Harm

THI.DoNoHarmAD.2013(F)It is one of the precepts all students are taught in medical school. It reminds a physician that he or she must always consider the possible harm any intervention might cause. It also applies quite accurately to the process of restoring rivers, wetlands and uplands. The very act of “restoring” any resource or habitat implies that you do no harm.

Our natural environment plays host to an immense variety of species, many of them microscopic. Whether reducing excessive erosion or enhancing habitat for fish, we not only tread lightly on the delicate ecosystems that exist, we strive to protect and enhance it.  >Learn More about EcoBlu!

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