The School Creek Cultural Revegetation and Riparian Restoration Project site is a low elevation riparian forest surrounding the seasonal creek channel approximately a mile from its confluence with the Baduwa’t (Mad River). The site was originally restored in 2021, with recontouring of the channel and revegetation, however mortality occurred for many planted species which prompted this 2023 project. The School Creek site has been severely degraded over the last hundred years from land use practices, industrialization, and colonization. Streams that have been damaged by heavy logging have created high sedimentation levels within the Baduwa’t, which is listed as “impaired” on the U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s 303(d) list for excessive siltation/sedimentation and temperature (State of CA North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, 2018). Additionally, the industrialization of the town of Blue Lake has altered the natural course of the School Creek channel and landscape by building a school, railroad grade, mill, and housing. The forcible separation of the Wiyot people from their ancestral land halted native management practices, further pushing the degradation of the watershed. The lower Baduwa’t riparian area was converted to pasture for grazing sheep and cows. However, since 1983, Blue Lake Rancheria has worked to buy land back in the watershed and restore it (Wiyot Tribe, 2023). This project is on Blue Lake Rancheria land, and seeks to restore the riparian area by utilizing native and culturally significant plants which have been cultivated for specific purposes since time immemorial by the Wiyot people. Revegetation of culturally significant plants will allow for both cultural and ecological resilience, enhancement of biodiversity, and reinforcement of ecosystem services.


Fall 2023


Environmental Science & Management


Ecological Restoration


Daniel Lipe

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