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Working with wood in rivers in the Western United States

Ockelford, Annie; Wohl, Ellen; Ruiz-Villanueva, Virginia; Comiti, Francesco; Piégay, Hervé; Darby, Stephen; Parsons, Dan; Yochum, Steven E.; Wolstenholme, Josh; White, Daniel; Uno, Hiromi; Triantafillou, Shayla; Stroth, Travis; Smrdel, Tom; Scott, Daniel N.; Scamardo, Julianne E.; Rees, James; Rathburn, Sara; Morrison, Ryan R.; Milan, David; Marshall, Anna; Lininger, Katherine B.; Kemper, John T.; Karpack, Marissa; Johaneman, Taylor; Iskin, Emily; Gibaja del Hoyo, Javier; Hortobágyi, Borbála; Hinshaw, Sarah; Heath, Jared; Emmanuel, Tracy; Dunn, Sarah; Christensen, Nicholas; Beeby, Johannes; Ash, Julie; Ader, Ethan; Aarnink, Janbert


Annie Ockelford

Ellen Wohl

Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva

Francesco Comiti

Hervé Piégay

Stephen Darby

Dan Parsons

Steven E. Yochum

Josh Wolstenholme

Daniel White

Hiromi Uno

Shayla Triantafillou

Travis Stroth

Tom Smrdel

Daniel N. Scott

Julianne E. Scamardo

James Rees

Sara Rathburn

Ryan R. Morrison

Anna Marshall

Katherine B. Lininger

John T. Kemper

Marissa Karpack

Taylor Johaneman

Emily Iskin

Javier Gibaja del Hoyo

Borbála Hortobágyi

Sarah Hinshaw

Jared Heath

Tracy Emmanuel

Sarah Dunn

Nicholas Christensen

Johannes Beeby

Julie Ash

Ethan Ader

Janbert Aarnink


Recognition of the important physical and ecological roles played by large wood in channels and on floodplains has grown substantially during recent decades. Although large wood continues to be routinely removed from many river corridors worldwide, the practice of wood reintroduction has spread across the United States, the United Kingdom and western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. The state-of-science regarding working with wood in rivers was discussed during a workshop held in Colorado, USA, in September 2022 with 40 participants who are scientists and practitioners from across the USA, UK, Europe, and Japan. The objectives of this paper are to present the findings from the workshop; summarize two case studies of wood in river restoration in the western United States; and provide suggestions for advancing the practice of wood in river management. We summarize the workshop results based on participant judgements and recommendations with respect to: (i) limitations and key barriers to using wood, which reflect perceptions and practicalities; (ii) gaps in the use of large wood in river management; (iii) scenarios in which wood is generally used effectively; and (iv) scenarios in which wood is generally not used effectively. The case studies illustrate the importance of the local geomorphic context, the configuration complexity of the wood, and the potential for modification of river corridor morphology to enhance desired benefits. Moving forward, we stress the importance of collaboration across disciplines and across communities of research scientists, practitioners, regulators, and potential stakeholders; accounting for stakeholder perceptions of the use of large wood; and increasing non-scientist access to the latest state-of-science knowledge.


Ockelford, A., Wohl, E., Ruiz-Villanueva, V., Comiti, F., Piégay, H., Darby, S., …Aarnink, J. (2024). Working with wood in rivers in the Western United States. River Research and Applications,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 28, 2024
Online Publication Date Jun 18, 2024
Publication Date 2024
Deposit Date Jul 2, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jul 3, 2024
Journal River Research and Applications
Print ISSN 1535-1459
Electronic ISSN 1535-1467
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Engineered logjams; Large wood; Natural flood management; Nature-based solutions; Practitioners; Stage zero restoration
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Copyright Statement
© 2024 The Author(s). River Research and Applications published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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