The Rebirth of a River
Before 1940, the middle Provo River meandered relatively freely through Heber Valley. It was a haven for wildlife and offered outstanding fishing. From the 1940’s to the 1960’s, the river was dammed, diked, and channelized by Federal and local partners for water delivery and flood control purposes.
The result: loss of valuable fish and wildlife habitat.
In 1992, Congress created the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission to develop and coordinate projects that mitigate the damage to fish and wildlife populations caused by Federal reclamation projects. The Mitigation Commission, along with the many partners, chose to restore the middle Provo because of its historically high fish and wildlife value.
The Riparian Zone: A Hub of Life
The ribbon of lush, green habitat found alongside a river is called the riparian zone. Riparian areas in Utah are rare – only 2 percent of Utah is riparian – yet they are in great demand. Eighty percent of wildlife use riparian zones sometime during their life cycle. The Provo River Restoration Project is restoring the middle Provo’s riparian zone by creating a more natural river channel and flow pattern, which in turn creates more ideal conditions for tree and plant growth. The Project’s resulting diversity of trees and plants provide habitat for a great number of wildlife species. Below we introduce you to some of the living things drawn to the cool and shady middle Provo River corridor.
Moose, Deer and Elk.
Voles, Shrews and Mice.