2023 Project Highlights
2023 was another strong year of project implementation. For the second year running we had two full time staff working on restoration projects, and that capacity allowed us to write more funding applications and undertake more projects. We’re especially proud of: A Rapid Bio Assessment of the major salmon streams in the watershed, our Scotts Mills Dam Removal community engagement program, two high-impact small grant projects, starting restoration work at Coolidge-McClain Park in Silverton, and continuing to steward three headwater sites burned in the Beachie Creek Fire.
2023 OWEB Small Grant Projects
In 2023 we completed one OWEB small grant project and finished the first year of a second small grant project. The first project installed 1,450 feet of wire mesh livestock exclusion fence for future riparian restoration along the Pudding River. The second was a large restoration project at the Aurora Mills Greenspace to control knotweed and establish more riparian plants in the natural area. That project will continue into 2024 to make sure we’re doing proper plant maintenance.
Scotts Mills Dam Removal Community Engagement, May 2023 – Ongoing
While funding has been secured since 2019 to remove the Scotts Mills Dam, approval from 2 out of 3 Marion County Commissioners has yet to be given. We won a community engagement grant to restart the outreach process around the project, better engage local community and county residents, and hopefully win the support of one additional commissioner so that we can move forward with dam removal. So far the following has been done:
- Completed months of research into the project, including alternatives to dam removal, and published our findings in articles organized by topic for all community members to access
- Recorded and produced four videos focusing on the questions that we most often hear from community members. So far the videos have over 10,000 views on Youtube.
- Attended multiple community events, held 1:1 meetings, met with County Commissioner Kevin Cameron, and made many modes of feedback available to Scotts Mills and Marion County residents.
Check out the Interactive PDF with our research on the dam removal project
2020 Fire Recovery Work, Jan 2023 – Ongoing
In 2023 we continued working on the three Beachie Creek fire recovery sites, all near the headwaters of local creeks, that we’ve been helping to steward since September of 2022. We contracted with crews to replant all of the sites, and then maintained all of the sites with a mixture of contractor labor and our in-house restoration crew. We got the grant extended so we’ll have planting maintenance for all three sites through 2025.
We have a host of major projects on the docket for 2024, and are applying for more grants to expand our project portfolio:
Rapid Bio Assessment: Launching public facing materials and video that summarize what our contractors found during the 2023 assessment of the major salmonid streams in the Pudding River watershed
Fire Recovery Work: Interplanting and maintenance for fire recovery work will happen throughout 2024
Scotts Mills: We’ll be wrapping up our community engagement grant and hope that the result is we’ve received permission to remove the dam from 2/3 Marion County Commissioners
OWEB Small Grants: We’ll be wrapping up the Aurora Mills small grant in 2024, and hoping to apply for two more small grants to bring restoration projects to willing landowners
Native Plant Plot at NWREC: We’re becoming the stewards of a native plant cutting site at OSU’s NWREC research site, and from that are trying to make more riparian and native plant materials available to landowners in the watershed
Fish Passage Barrier Removal: We’re still working to implement a technical assistance grant to figure out a solution for removing Aamodt Dam on Rock Creek.
All that and much more in on deck for 2024! Stay tuned for updates and follow our Facebook page to see what is happening as the year progresses.
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