Crowley Gulch is a completed project which restored and conserved a key wildlife habitat corridor while increasing channel capacity to handle high water flow events and encourage natural bank geometry. In addition to channel improvements, the RCDTC installed a footbridge that provided safe passage across the waterway and an observation deck for viewing aquatic and terrestrial wildlife while also providing additional shaded refuge for aquatic wildlife.
Crowley Gulch is an urban waterway, partially fed by seepage from the Anderson Cottonwood Irrigation District (ACID) canal and partially by rainfall, sheet flow and runoff. Periodic stream flows through Crowley Gulch create a tributary to the main stem of Cottonwood Creek, which supports anadromous fish migration and spawning habitat on the North and Middle Fork, considerably upstream from the Crowley Gulch confluence. The Cottonwood Creek watershed is a very important source of spawning gravels to the Sacramento River. Though locals remember a time when adult salmon would run up the Gulch in the fall, they were stopped by the canal. In recent years, there have been no known forays into the system due to the extremely shallow, warm water in the fall, prior to winter rains which flush and refill the channel.
Project work included riparian restoration and revegetation as well as a 0.3 mile long footpath along the east side of the waterway between roads Gas Point and First Street. Flow capacity in the channel was increased through the creation of active floodplain areas and removal of biomass which had obstructed water movement through Crowley Gulch.
This project was accomplished through the collaboration of twelve different organizations, ranging from the funders and contractors to the Cottonwood Community Center and RCD of Tehama County.