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Human-Built Natural Infrastructure in Dryland Streams — Lessons from the "20-Year Crew"

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Detailed Description

On April 16^th^, 2024, the USGS hosted notable restoration practitioners from the Sky Island Restoration Collaborative (SIRC) at the National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration, in Albuquerque, NM, in a session about low-cost, low-tech, nature-based solutions, that can help people mitigate and adapt to climate changes.  

In the desert – where communities and ecosystems are on the front lines of climate change and drought, Natural Infrastructure in Dryland Streams (NIDS) have been used to promote multiple ecosystem services since time immemorial. Most people recognize that beaver dams provide a plethora of valuable ecosystem services, but many dryland reaches cannot support beavers due to lack of perennial flow and habitat.  

This session describes how humans have and can ‘be the beaver’, and install, maintain, and benefit from human-built NIDS. Different types of NIDS are elaborated on, from gabions to one-rock-dams to BDAS, along with the long list of nature-based solutions they provide to reverse desertification and strengthen climate resilience. This was a 2-part session consisting of leading land and water-resource restoration practitioners, with 20+ years’ experience in ecohydrological restoration. 




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