Log Grade Stabilizers

Specially designed sections of Structure made of logs installed in ephemeral channels at the grade of the channel to prevent downcutting.

Purpose: The purpose of log grade stabilizers is much the same as log dams, except that the emphasis is on stabilizing the channel gradient rather than trapping sediment.

Relative Effectiveness: Excellent-30% Good-30% Fair-10% Poor-30% (Replies = 10).  Interviewees rated log grade stabilizers about equally across the spectrum from “excellent” to “poor.” Like log dams, these structures are expensive and time-consuming. In situations where log grade stabilizers were rated “excellent,” 70 to 80 percent of the structures were still functional after 1 year. “Poor” ratings usually resulted where the log grade stabilizers did not make a difference or they were lost to high stormflows.

Implementation and Environmental Factors: Log grade stabilizers have many of the same design, implementation, and environmental factors considerations that log dams do. Proper design and crew experience are critical in making these structures last and function effectively. Numerous small log grade stabilizers are preferable to a few larger ones. In some locations, there might not be adequate, straight, woody material left after a fire to build log grade stabilizers with onsite resources.