One of my responsibilities as Western Rivers Conservancy’s Stewardship Director is to visit past projects to assess how they’re holding up as a conservation project. This October, I had the opportunity to visit Fivemile and Bell Creeks, where one of WRC’s accomplishments has come full circle.
On Oregon’s lower John Day River, between two spectacular BLM wilderness study areas, Western Rivers Conservancy purchased a second ranch on Thirtymile Creek. The purchase complements our ongoing effort to conserve Thirtymile Creek and ten miles of the lower John Day, while creating new recreational access to over 75,000 acres of public BLM lands surrounding the ranches.
Ten years ago, Oregon’s Sandy River became wild and free once again!
In 2007, Portland General Electric blew Marmot Dam into a cloud of dust and rubble, dramatically initiating the decommissioning process that would allow the Sandy River to again flow unimpeded, from the glaciers of Mount Hood to the Columbia River.
The Umpqua and Rogue are the only two coastal rivers in Oregon with headwaters in the Cascade Range. All other coastal rivers rise in the lower-elevation Coast Range. Fed by snowmelt, the North Umpqua flows clean and cold year-round, its chilly emerald waters a contrast to the nearby rivers that warm dramatically in summer. This anomaly is what makes the North Umpqua so crucial to cold-water fish, including Chinook and coho salmon, sea-run cutthroat and summer and winter steelhead.
Join us on the John Day River for a day of volunteer work!
On Saturday, April 22nd, we’re heading to Cottonwood Canyon State Park to plant, run irrigation lines and cage cottonwood cuttings. As we like to think of it, we'll be putting the 'Cottonwood' back in Cottonwood Canyon State Park.
We hope you’ll come out! We’ll get our hands dirty, have some fun and improve fish and wildlife habitat along and above the river.