About This Project

Vegetation Monitoring on the Colorado River

Vegetation monitoring is essential in evaluating the success of a restoration project. The results help establish criteria for successful habitat restoration, determine if restoration techniques sufficiently address the needs of the wildlife community, and, if necessary, redefine restoration strategies. Federal, State, and Tribal agencies require follow-up plant monitoring after revegetation to assess growth, condition, and survivorship of the plants. Grant funders typically have monitoring requirements to determine project success.


Fred Phillips Consulting has designed and conducted vegetation monitoring for over 40 restoration project sites on the Colorado River, from the Grand Canyon all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Our firm creates appropriate vegetation monitoring plans that include a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods to answer project questions and cover permit and grant requirements. The methods involved include: Multiple random and systematic vegetation survey, transects, nested plots, cover quadrats, total vegetation volume (TVV) calculations, and point intercept. Photo monitoring is used to provide a visual representation of the habitat growth and condition.

Project Slide Show

Over 95% of our projects have met or exceeded success criteria established at the design phase of the project. Species that experience mortality are re-planted with more appropriate species (for example, plants more salt-tolerant, hydric, or drought-tolerant). Due to our carefully selected initial plant palette, many of our project sites have recruited additional native species which are able to out-compete invasive species. Many sites have been removed from supplemental irrigation after the plant roots have tapped into the groundwater table. Our firm uses the accumulated experience and knowledge from years of fieldwork to continually update and improve our restoration methods.


Various Federal, State, Tribal, and Non-profit agencies

Location / Date

Colorado River, from source to sea / Ongoing


Various Federal, State, Tribal, and Non-profit agencies

Permitting and Compliance, Wildlife Research