October 27th, 2017 What Your Watershed Council Can Do For You

October 27th, 2017

What Your Watershed Council Can Do For You

By Lee Peterman

Eric Andersen

Council Coordinator of the South Santiam Watershed Council
On the evening of October 27th the OSU Extension in Tangent along with the Linn Chapter; hosted Eric Andersen, Council Coordinator of the South Santiam Watershed Council, who gave a talk on the topic of watershed councils and some of the programs they can offer small woodlands owners. It was also an attempt to tie-in to and drum-up interest in a woodland tour occurring ten days later at "Bird-Haven" a private woodland in North Linn County, on the North Santiam River as an example of what restoration projects a watershed council can assist in. There were approximately a dozen attendees, including members of other watershed councils, as well as the Executive Director of the Calapooia Watershed Council. Eric's presentation included a slide-show with photographs of past and on-going projects being performed through the South Santiam Council on Thomas Creek, near Scio; as well as those on tributaries of both McDowell Creek, near Lebanon and Moose Creek, out of Sweet Home.
Of the many points Eric discussed, one of the most urgent was that of riparian repair/restoration and recovery for private landowners and how with assistance from the watershed council, much degradation from erosion can be slowed and eventually repaired along stream banks and culverts, by use of structures within the stream as well as replanting banks with fast-growing willow and other moisture-loving flora.
Eric also placed emphasis on the fact that a local watershed council is not a government agency, although for some projects there are state and federal assistance programs available, but rather that what watershed councils do is show and guide landowners/managers to those programs and that help can be made available to restore streams and waterways to their former healthy courses. A sub-topic discussed in riparian subjects was that of fish habitat restoration, especially of the salmonids and steelhead streams, but also the less 'sexy' , yet no less important species, such as the endangered native Oregon Chub and how designs and implementation can be made to repair and enhance the streams for fish habitat.
Eric also made the case for folks who might be curious to attend meetings of the boards of their local watershed councils; both to learn more about what they do, as well as what you might be able do for them -- like joining and adding your voice and experience to future projects. For more information, or to attend a meeting of your local watershed council, simply determine the nearest tributary or river to your woodlands and look online for contact information. In the Northern part of Linn County, (Southern part of Marion County) contact Rebecca McCoun; Council Coordinator of the North Santiam Watershed Council. For the central part of Linn County, contact Eric Andersen; Council Coordinator of the South Santiam Watershed Council and for the Southern part of Linn County, contact Bessie Joyce; Executive Director of the Calapooia Watershed Council.
A thank-you is extended to the OSU Extension Office in Tangent for hosting. Hearty thanks as well to Shirley Jolliff, who went well "Above and Beyond" in creating wonderful baked goodies, appreciated and enjoyed by all in attendance and thanks to Nancy Mauter with assisting in set-up and clean-up after the event.
(In the interest of full disclosure -- the author of this article is both a board member of the Linn County Small Woodlands as well as the South Santiam Watershed Council and in that capacity has knowledge of current and future projects and finds that that sitting on two distinctly different, yet necessary boards lends a unique view on how watersheds and woodlands interact and how important it is to invite more folks to become involved in either, or both.)
by: Leland (Lee) Peterman
Vice Pres. Linn County Small Woodlands Assoc.
Board Member-at-Large, South Santiam Watershed Council

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