Civiltec was selected by the Town of Prescott Valley to assist in stabilizing soils and restoring historic grasslands in Barney York Ranch. The team will work with the Upper Verde River Watershed Protection Coalition (UVRWPC) to build four variations of silt dams at ten locations within the Ranch, 13 miles west of Paulden, Arizona.

UVRWPC is a joint effort between the Town of Prescott Valley, City of Prescott, Town of Chino Valley, Yavapai County, and the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe. The coalition is committed to the protection of the Upper Verde River base flow, while balancing the reasonable water needs of both residents and businesses that reside within the watershed boundaries.

The goal of this project is to reduce soil degradation; however, this act will have the added benefits of decreased erosion and improved water quality in the Williamson Valley Wash, one of only a few remaining streams in the Big Chino Sub-basin of the Upper Verde River Watershed where water is present year-round.

The project scope includes thinning 240 acres of overgrown juniper. Once this stage is complete, the team will utilize the byproducts of the thinning (woody biomass) to engineer and build silt dams in eroded areas on private and leased state trust lands. The silt dams will be designed to detain, not retain, water as well as withstand a “100-year storm.” Further, the dams will be appropriately sized to avoid rerouting flows onto unaffected lands.

Civiltec is responsible for survey, permitting assistance, construction documents, and limited construction management and monitoring assistance. The team also implemented hydrologic modeling to calculate flowrates for adjacent washes.

Once the project is complete, the area will see increased aquifer recharge and healthy forest restoration activities. If successful, the project’s methods and delivery could potentially be utilized in other areas of the county and state that are similarly plagued by pinyon-juniper overgrowth.

For this project, Chris Dusza leads the team’s design and analysis as Project Manager. Rick Shroads, Andy Shroads, and Raymond Buettner round out the Civiltec team.

Civiltec kicked off this project in April 2017. The work is scheduled to be completed in June 2019.