The latest from Stream Dynamics:

La Capilla wetland improvementsBack in the trees is La Capilla Wetland, picnic tables and hiking paths. Nineteen Youth Conservation Corp (YCC) workers from Aldo Leopold High spent 2.5 weeks improving the water flow from hillsides, Robert St diversions and the Senior Center parking lot into the wetland area witch contains cattails native willow trees and more.

When my kids and I stumbled upon the wetland in 1981 it was a dumping place for trash; there were piles of unused asphalt left over from road paving and piles of discarded broken-up concrete but remarkably lush and green, today it is part of the La Capilla Heritage Park and easily accessed from the Senior Center parking lot although any of the trails around the 23 acre park will take you there.

Sometime in the early 2000's the area was cleaned up, brick paths installed and picnic tables built but the water flows needed more help to get to the actual wetland. 

Following a design by Stream Dynamics the group moved a brick path, cleaned out an old culvert, dug a catchment pond, installed a new culvert and many more improvements to...

San Vicente Creek Urban Sub-watershed Map (2014), by Andrew Lindlof, Stream Dynamics, Inc & Aldo Leopold High School Youth Conservation Corps.

Presented to the Town of Silver City Floodplain Manager as a GIS layer, it identifies 269 viable water harvesting sites, 96 on town property; there are also 134 treatable chronic sediment supply areas, 69 of these on town property. The GIS data is assessible as a Google Earth KMZ file by clicking on this link.

Stream Dynamics Inc. is busy this month! Check out one of our current projects, with Aldo Leopold High School's Youth Conservation Corps summer crews… They are working on stream restoration, erosion control, and water harvesting construction at the Silver City Senior Center's walking paths at La Capilla Wetlands. Drop by to check out their work sometime soon!

Claire Catlett

Stream Dynamics, Claire Catlett

In April 15-19, 2014 Stream Dynamics did a gully plug project in a post-fire gully in the North Gullies of Jaramillo Creek in the Valles Caldera. We used whole trees that were cut down as part of a forest stand improvement directed by Bill Zeedyk and Jack Crane. The sawyers were Dwayne and Cory Lefthand from Taos Pueblo. Van Clothier operated an excavator to manouver the trees into the gullies and wedge them in place.

Cat 308 positioning tree in gully

Cat 308 positioning tree in gully.

Several tree length gully plugs in this gully

View of several tree length gully plugs in this gully, which will trap sediment and fill the gully back in. This will help keep post-fire sediment out of Jaramillo Creek.


By Ella Kirk

Imagine a cup of water filled from the tap and brought to your lips only to realize that your glass is empty. Water is so very vital to life, humans and otherwise, that a reliant species without access to it, or to clean supplies of it, would simply crash, no question about it. Water is so vital, but so scarce though it may not seem that way to us. All we have to do is look at a diagram of the Earth’s supply of water to notice that there is not very much available to humans.

I have recently been fighting a diversion of the Gila River here in southwest New Mexico. People ask me why it is so critical to preserve the river. They argue that humans need water and I want to yell at them: Exactly! Here’s how it works: You divert water from a stream or river and the ecosystem and wetlands (which are nature’s purification systems) become degraded to a level where they disappear or no longer support a river system. This creates a situation that is unsustainable because after you degrade the wetlands and stream health, you may be getting a temporary flood of drinking water but because you destroyed the watershed, you will have no water in the future. You are thwarting nature so cleverly only to be rewarded with a system beyond our petty human control that collapses in on itself and us.

Nature is often taken for granted and we don’t realize how much nature gives us. If we let it, Nature could purify a life’s supply of clean water. Instead we work...

By Ella Kirk

The rain, outside my window, overflows the gutter and splashes into a clump of feather grass. The juniper seems to stretch it's foliage to the gray sky to receive the rain drops that fall. I can practically feel the roots pushing into the wet humus. The air smells rich, like wet moss by a gushing stream.

This is what the desert waits for. All year long, the plants patiently stand through the sparse rains and quaking heat of New Mexico. When winter comes, they absorb the moisture of snow and sleet, but it is not till the monsoons come that the real life springs from the Earth.

In New Mexico, once the monsoons come in early July, we can experience almost daily showers. Often, you see a little stratus cloud in the early morning and by 4 o'clock a massive castle-like, steel-gray thunderhead looms over the sky and cracks open like an eggshell with a boom of thunder, and the rains come streaking down. Monsoons are the times when the grasses are vibrant, when the flowers bloom in their most vivid colors and in the dewy mornings, bird-song is prevalent. From July-September (if it's a good year), the desert of New Mexico gets a wonderful dousing of living things' most revered resource: water.

But what happens to most of that water? We so value that short time when moisture graces us, but a lot of our rain water runs down the streets. If you saw the corner of Yankie Street and Bullard Street in Silver City on the week we had those huge...

by Ella Kirk

Water is a unique substance. It's smooth, and slides over our hands, yet can wear away stone and is responsible for many of our landforms. Its solid form is less dense than its liquid form, a great fortune for living things, because if this wasn't true, our oceans would have been frozen solid long ago. Water possesses the property of cohesion as well as adhesion, allowing its molecules to bond to each other through hydrogen bonds and also attract to molecules of different substances, which accounts for capillary action, the force responsible for drawing water out of the roots of plants and into the stems and leaves.

This miracle substance is also one of the best solutes. Almost anything can dissolve in it, allowing particles to be transported quite easily, and often undetectably. This is a curse and a blessing for our modern world.

As easily as water can be contaminated, if you have healthy streams, it can also be cleansed by an area often known as the “kidneys” of a river system: wetlands. These areas are usually rich with reeds and other aquatic plants and teeming with wildlife. Besides, being a great habitat for animals and plants, wetlands are also very effective water filters.

Aside from the miraculous chemical properties and the wonders of its wetlands, water also has a humongous effect on human culture. Most of the biggest cities...

Reporte Anual Convenio Instituto Tecnológico Superior De Cananea Y Sky Island AllianceAgradecimientos

El 20 de agosto del ano 2013 se cumple un ano de la firma del historico convenio de colaboracion del Instituto Tecnologico Superior de Cananea con Sky Island Alliance, organizacion dedicada a la proteccion de las especies nativas y a la restauracion de sus habitats en la region de las islas serranas.

Gracias a los esfuerzos y a la vision compartida del biologo Sergio Avila e Ingeniero Guillermo Molina, impulsores y gestores de esta alianza, que ha trascendido fronteras en labores de educacion ambiental y en trabajos de restauracion y conservacion en el noroeste de Sonora y suroeste de Arizona.

Durante este período el Instituto Tecnologico Superior de Cananea participo con 51 voluntarios, incluyendo alumnos, docentes y personal administrativo, los cuales representaron 612 horas-hombre trabajadas en seis proyectos de...

Stream Dynamics worked with Sky Island Alliance and volunteers to restore areas aling the Rio Cocospera east of Imuris, Sonora. Here are photos from Fall of 2013.