Sawmill Branch – Daylighting Project
The temperature was not quite 50 degrees Saturday morning April 5, 2014, but the air was calm and the sun was shining during our daylighting project on Sawmill Branch in the Cherokee National Forest. At 9:30 that morning, twelve Cherokee Chapter TU members met with three US Forest Service staff to remove vegetation and low hanging tree branches that blocked sunlight or otherwise impeded stream flow.
It did not take long to warm up once we all got started. Armed with two pole saws, several loppers and pruning shears, the group spent the morning clearing approximately ¼ mile of stream. The vegetation was moved up along the bank, away from the water so it could be reclaimed by mother nature. During the process several cans and bottles (a.k.a. trashus americanus) were found, which we took with us to dispose of properly.
The purpose of the daylighting project is to improve the riparian environment. Opening up areas of the stream choked by vegetation enhances water quality, flood mitigation and provides a more desirable habitat for brook trout.
The Sawmill Branch Daylighting Project is one of many community projects which Cherokee Chapter actively organizes and members participate.