ARWC Environmental Planner Jeff Stern meets with members of the Western Maine Mountain Jeepers club Aug. 16, 2014 to discuss erosion control on jeep trails in the upper Sunday River Watershed. Western Maine – including the Sunday River – is home to the largest remaining intact habitat for eastern brook trout, a species that once flourished as far south as Georgia along the spine of the Appalachian Mountains. But habitat destruction and fragmentation in recent decades have greatly reduced their range.
ARWC’s ongoing efforts to enhance brook trout habitat in recent years include identifying and removing barriers to brook trout movement and migration, and conducting a three-year experiment to study the effects of adding large woody debris to streams in order to improve habitat.
Western Maine Mountain Jeepers plays an important role in protecting headwater streams; the club routinely builds water bars to re-direct storm water runoff, which often transports sediment, away from streams. The club also applies mulch and grass seed to bare areas. In the picture below of the Jeepers who worked on the project , Jeff Stern is second from the left.The Davis Conservation Fund paid for ARWC’s outreach efforts to the jeep club and state agencies that have a stake in managing the upper Sunday River’s recreational and resource amenities.