Working on private lands habitat restoration projects is a blend of science and art. Our big picture strategies are guided as much as possible by the best scientific information in large-scale habitat assessment and resource prioritization plans. We try to focus on strategically addressing the habitat limitations (the ‘life-history bottlenecks’) for key species like salmon across a wide variety of different land ownerships – including private and municipally owned lands.
|Perched culvert in Roy Creek before restoration.|
|Seaside Heights Elementary students visit the new culvert |
to learn about coastal streams.
Achieving the Mission—In the end these projects meet many goals. They improve fish access to miles of important habitat and improve stream dynamics by removing artificial constrictions to restore natural stream flows and reduce scour of stream habitat features such as spawning gravels. The projects help repair failing infrastructure that poses human safety risks. They can help provide secure drinking water resources. They stretch limited local municipal budgets in tough economic times. They create an efficient and seamless partnership between local, state, and federal agencies where everyone contributes an essential piece in a complex puzzle.
|Tillamook county Commissioner Mark Labhart |
speaks at the Roy Creek Ribbon Cutting Celebration.
The value of this type of partnership was recognized by Senator Betsy Johnson at the ribbon cutting ceremony on the Roy Creek Fish Passage project in Tillamook County last November, “This is really a big deal. This goes to show what we can accomplish when we work together.” Her thoughts were echoed by Lower Nehalem Watershed Council Chair George Hemmingway, who said, “This just shows what can be done when people at the local community level, stakeholders and leaders, are encouraged and aided by government agencies at all levels. Bottom up and grassroots thinking, aided by county, state and federal experts and funds. What an idea…very Oregonian.”
And, last but not least, they achieve the Fish and Wildlife Service mission, which is after all, working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
Submitted by Amy Horstman, Fish and Wildlife Habitat Restoration Program