RESPEC Helps Private Ranch Owner Restore Creek Bed to Natural Levels

Luna, New Mexico
Land Owner

Overgrazing and heavy rainfall had caused Thomas Paterson’s creek bed to fall nearly 18 feet below the meadow floor on his ranch near Luna, New Mexico. Mr. Paterson hired RESPEC to design two 100-foot-wide structures—one 9 feet deep and another 6 feet deep—to trap sediment and fill the creek back to its historical floodplain.

RESPEC coordinated with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to obtain the 404 Permit required by the Clean Water Act for Mr. Paterson’s project. The project was also subject to a mitigation plan requiring 5 years of monitoring by the USACE. However, RESPEC’s mitigation plan was so successful that the USACE released the project from monitoring after only 1 year.

“RESPEC worked on my project as if [they] owned it, working diligently and creatively from conceptualization through project close-out after construction,” ranch owner Thomas Paterson said.

Without the structures, RESPEC estimates that the creek bed could have fallen another 13.6 feet because of the highly erosive situation. Now that the changes have been made, the creek can effectively dissipate erosive-energy flows from any storm up to a 100-year storm event.