Armed with shovels, hard hats, and hip sacks full of native saplings, the Willamette Valley’s restoration crews are on the front lines of a massive effort to restore our waterways and the land that touches them.
Willamette Basin watershed restoration groups, riverside landowners and local businesses are partnering to address the basin's restoration needs more effectively, while saving money and providing jobs for dozens of local workers.
As part of the Willamette Model Watershed Program, work in the Ferguson Creek basin is aimed at reaching out to property owners and working with them to enhance stream health and habitat for fish and wildlife. The focus includes improving stream and floodplain interaction, restoring fish passage by addressing problem culverts and other barriers, enhancing wetlands, controlling target weed species, and revegetating riparian zones to benefit water quality and habitat for native species, such as cutthroat trout.
In 2003, the McKenzie River Trust acquired Green Island, a 1,000-acre farm located at the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers. In 2010, with funding assistance from the Bonneville Power Administration, MRT acquired an adjacent 56-acre sand and gravel mining property. This area is one of the most dynamic and ecologically important areas in the Willamette system, providing critical habitat for many protected species of fish and wildlife.
This sub-basin is located in the upper extent of the Lower North Santiam watershed, the most populated area of the watershed. The draft Endangered Species Act Recovery Plan for Upper Willamette Salmon and Steelhead identifies Bear Branch Creek as a target area for restoration. Currently, salmonid populations in Bear Branch are limited by excessively warm summer water temperatures, a lack of adequate spawning gravel and a lack of overwintering habitat due to poor connection with the floodplain.
This sub-basin is located in the upper extent of the Lower North Santiam watershed, the most populated area of the watershed. The draft Endangered Species Act Recovery Plan for Upper Willamette Salmon and Steelhead identifies Stout Creek as a target area for restoration.