CLACKAMAS, Ore. – Salmon, steelhead and other wildlife will have access to much needed habitat after a side channel of the Clackamas River is restored and re-connected to the mainstem providing year-round flow. As members of the Clackamas Stewardship Partners, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and other partnering organizations are working with the Clackamas River Ranger District/Mt. Hood National Forest fish biologists who began the restoration process this morning.
This 1,200-foot stretch of land near milepost 35 on Highway 224 off the Clackamas River is the first of many restoration projects to come by the Clackamas Stewardship Partners.
“The side channel we’re working on is a natural channel that was impacted by the construction of Highway 224,” said Todd Alsbury ODFW district fish biologist. “Our work here will create vital refuge habitat for several ESA-listed salmon and steelhead species including Lower Columbia River coho, Upper Willamette River chinook and Lower Columbia River steelhead. This project compliments similar ongoing efforts in the lower basin which will provide substantial benefits to fish and wildlife resources in the Clackamas River basin.”
“The CSP members are committed to restoring the Clackamas River watershed. This project is just the first in many that need to get done,” said Alex P. Brown, Director of Bark. “Both salmon and people need clean water to survive. Successfully restoring the Clackamas River is a step in the right direction for threatened wild coho salmon, and for ensuring clean drinking water for thousands of Clackamas residents."
Members of the CSP come from diverse backgrounds and work together to achieve their mission which is to "enhance ecosystem health and economic viability of local communities within the Clackamas River Watershed.” The organization is committed to a collaborative process that employs stewardship contracting and other innovative tools to meet restoration goals.
“The CSP is a way for a variety of interests to come together and concentrate our resources on the shared value of restoration,” said Lisa Doolittle, Restoration Program Assistant, Gifford Pinchot Task Force. “The collaboration allows us to be effective at restoring fish and wildlife habitat in the Clackamas River watershed while benefiting local economies.”
Funding of this and future projects comes from stewardship funds generated from collabrative projects by the Clackamas Stewardship Partners. This side channel project is being funded by revenue generated from a restoration thinning project within the Clackamas River watershed. Besides generating revenue for this project, the thinning provided local employment as well as resources to a Clackamas County mill, providing economic viability to local communities.
Partners of CSP are Bark, Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners, Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District, Clackamas River Basin Council, Clackamas River Ranger District, Gifford Pinchot Task Force, Northwest Forest Conservancy, NW Oregon Resource Conservation and Development Council, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Wild and Portland State University.
Clackamas Stewardship Partners Contacts
Photo opportunities are available by contacting Christie Scott, ODFW PIO (971) 673-6038 or Bob Bergamini, Mt. Hood National Forest (503) 630-8801.
Bark, Alex Brown (503) 331-0374
Clackamas Co. Board of Commissioners, Jeannine Breshears (503) 655-8419
Clackamas Co. Soil & Water Conservation Dist., Rick Gruen (503) 656-3499
Clackamas River Basin Council, Cheryl McGinnis (503) 558-0550
Clackamas River Ranger Dist./Mt. Hood National Forest, Bob Bergamini (503) 630-8801
Gifford Pinchot Task Force, Lisa Doolittle (503) 221-2102
Northwest Forest Conservancy, Ildiko Plesko (503) 961-2946
NW Oregon Resource Conservation & Development Council, Rhoda Portis (503) 359-9594
Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, Todd Alsbury (971) 673-6011
Oregon Wild, Erik Fernandez (503) 283-6343
Portland State University, Jeff Gerwing (503) 725-4482