Syar Industries, Inc. is in the process of obtaining approval to complete a Middle Reach Terrace Reclamation Plan for the purpose of creating a sustainable long-term future use of former mining areas in compliance with the California State Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975. This Plan will create over 275 acres of off-channel habitat for endangered salmonids and other wildlife at the former mining sites.
This project proposes the lowering of the existing levees in three locations providing seasonal connections between the former mining sites and the Russian River, which is important for maintaining levee stability and creating fish habitat. These connections will allow for the construction of approximately 53 acres of seasonally submerged riparian forest, as well as, approximately 48 acres of shoal areas. This off-channel marsh and shoal refuge area will offer an abundance of food, rearing habitat, a place for the fish to hide from predators, an escape from flood events and a much needed cold water refuge which is vital to the survival of the salmonids species. This unique habitat provides a benefit to fisheries that presently does not exist anywhere in the entire Russian River system.
In addition to the work described above, Syar has already completed the installation of grassland areas and the planting of approximately 2,200 trees in the terrace project area, creating the existing lower riparian/marsh, upper riparian, and upland habitat zones. Also, approximately 20 acres of former terrace mining areas have been restored to productive vineyards.
This proposed project will allow for an additional 3,100 trees and shrubs to be planted, offering an even greater diversity for area wildlife and fishery habitat. Currently bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, pelicans, osprey and other wildlife can be seen utilizing this area as their home. This off-channel habitat combined will other restoration efforts, like the Sonoma County Riverside Park at Wohler and the Kaiser property located to the southeast, creates thousands of acres of important terrestrial and aquatic habitat that would otherwise not exist.