Chinook salmon making their way back up the McKenzie River have found more places to lay their eggs thanks to years of work restoring floodplains throughout the watershed.
Each fall, partners work together across our region to include controlled ecological burning in areas where habitat restoration has been completed or is underway. Ecological burning in natural areas benefits native prairie, savanna, and oak woodland habitats while also reducing the potential for severe, high-intensity wildfires by removing built up fuels including dense shrubs and thatch.
Three years after the Holiday Farm fire burned more than 173,000 acres in the McKenzie River valley, partners are celebrating the completion of floodplain restoration work at Finn Rock Reach. Beginning in the summer of 2021, restoration activities have included reshaping nearly 90 acres of floodplain forest and returning the area back to aquatic habitat along the Middle McKenzie River.
A decade after McKenzie River Trust, purchased 217-acre Waite Ranch in the Siuslaw Estuary, partners are breaking ground on a large-scale restoration project. Led by the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI), the project will improve salmon and shorebird habitat, contribute to regional climate resilience, and provide a place for local Tribal citizens and families to celebrate and promote Indigenous culture on their ancestral lands.
Two and a half years after the Holiday Farm fire burned more than 173,000 acres in the McKenzie River valley, partners are breaking ground on the second and final phase of floodplain restoration work at Finn Rock Reach, a 278-acre conservation area owned by McKenzie River Trust.
For more than 20 years, wetland scientist Laura Brophy has been pioneering research on the wetlands of Oregon’s central coast. As both a technical researcher and a field ecologist, Laura has brought a unique lens and approach to unveiling a lost understanding of how areas such as the Siuslaw estuary functioned before European settlers moved west.
From frogs to fish, beavers, and otters, our rivers are home to an incredible abundance of animals. Reconnecting our rivers to allow for water to slow and spread not only improves water quality and retention on the landscape but also provides important habitat for the beloved animals around us.
Maintaining oak savanna and prairie habitats plays a key role in species conservation and ecological reinvigoration. In the Willamette Valley, less than 3% of oak savanna and less than 7% of oak woodlands remain.
One year after devastating wildfires and a summer of unprecedented drought, the first Spring Chinook salmon have arrived at the spawning ground in the McKenzie River near the Finn Rock Reach restoration project to complete the cycle of life for this iconic species.
Floodplain restoration work at Finn Rock Reach more than doubles available spawning ground for Spring Chinook Salmon.