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ODFW Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program

Gail Achterman Wildlife Area

About Gail Achterman:

About the Property:

The property is located within the Willamette River Floodplain Conservation Opportunity Area as identified in the Oregon Conservation Strategy. This property protects the largest unprotected, contiguous block of riparian forest along the main stem below Harrisburg and one of the only significant riparian forests in the 34-mile stretch between the Santiam confluence and Willamette Mission State Park. Throughout this river reach, riparian habitats are generally limited to narrow, fragmented fringes of treed habitats immediately adjacent to the channel. Gail Achterman Wildlife Area (GAWA), in contrast, is approximately 1.5 miles long and up to approximately 2,900 feet wide at its widest point, containing scour channels, wetlands, and alcoves.

GAWA also contains wetland and riparian habitats, and bottomland hardwood forests comprised of native species including black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa), Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia), and red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea). GAWA serves as a "habitat stepping stone" and provide cold water refugia and critical life history functions for listed species and species of conservation concern including Chinook salmon, (Oncorhnychus tshawytscha), cutthroat trout (Oncorhnychus clarki), Oregon chub (Oregonichthys crameri), Pacific lamprey (Lampetra tridentata), western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata), and red-legged frog (Rana aurora).

This wildlife area is named after the late Gail
Achterman, an Oregon conservation leader who
was passionately committed to a sustainable
future for the Willamette River Basin. Just upstream from
Gail’s childhood home, it was purchased for conservation
purposes and preserved as a rare patch of wild, intact nature.
Gail passed away due to pancreatic cancer in 2012, but before
she died she asked that her vision of preserving natural areas
along the Willamette River Valley be kept alive.

Acres: 290.8

Access: Open to the public


Contact us

Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program Contact List (pdf)
ODFW Wildlife and Fish Biologist Contact List (pdf)

For more information

Contact Laura Tesler, Willamette Wildlife Mitigation Program Coordinator,



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