Selection of Site-specific Stabilization Techniques
are for rapid vegetative regrowth and the nature and density of the animal population. Since
many types of vegetation are more effective as erosion protection if pruned to a bushy form,
moderate browsing may actually be beneficial to the bank protection function.
In some cases, one or more of the following measures to protect against animal
damage may be required:
Providing temporary protection until vegetation becomes well established by
using fencing, netting, wrapping, or protective tubes.
Reducing grazing and browsing by using less attractive species of vegetation.
Overwhelm the appetite of the animals by using a species which resprouts
vigorously. This often means using a successful native variety of plant.
Obviously, the line between providing beneficial habitat for animals, and risking
impairment to the function of the protection project is a fine one. Both goals may not be
totally attainable at sites with severe animal depredation.
Insect damage can be a problem for wooden components or vegetation. Preservative
treatment for wooden components is common practice, and the application of chemicals to
vegetation may be effective. However, environmental considerations may rule out these
options in some cases.
Fire as a factor in selection is highly site-specific. A fire hazard may result from
wildfire or from fires set by recreationists. Obviously some materials are liable to catch fire,
burn, melt, or be rendered more vulnerable to corrosion if subjected to fire. Relying on fire
protection is seldom practical, therefore, if fire is a significant environmental hazard at a site,
a material unaffected by it should be selected.