Helping to Restore the Balance
Columbia Helicopters is very proud of the work we do to help support fish habitat enhancement. Across the Pacific Northwest, fish and stream biologists are using our helicopters to place boulders, logs and root wads into streams and creeks. Helping to restore habitat and spawning grounds for native fish runs.
Replacing wood and rock structures in streams is a reversal of past practices of cleaning logs out of streams. For years, forest managers—with the best of intentions—believed they were doing the right thing by pulling out logs that had fallen into streams, after a logging project was completed. Now, research shows that these fallen logs supported fish habitat by slowing the flow of the stream, helping to create deep, cool pools and gravel beds that the fish use for spawning.
We place the logs and other material in the summer, but winter is when they really settle into place. High water levels move the logs into more natural positions, forming small debris dams. Single logs and boulders help to change current direction and allow gravel beds to form. The process is slow, often taking years for the streams to return to their original state. However, streams in northern Washington where work was done in 1991 and 1992 by our Vertols, are now showing signs of recovery in terms of fish populations.
Learn more about our forest operations.
Red Dog Forest Thinning Video
Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows conducted a month-long, ecological forest thinning project at Squaw Valley in November 2014. More than 5,000 dead or diseased trees were removed from the Red Dog region of the lower mountain in an effort to improve the natural habitat, reduce the risk of wildfire, and provide unprecedented access to tree skiing and riding in the targeted area.
Panjab Fish Habitat Restoration
Stream restoration assists in re-establishing spawning grounds and fish habitats.