Burned trees used for Deschutes River habitat restoration project
Dec 29,2006 00:00 by Bend Weekly News Sources

Trout will benefit from trees that burned in the 2005 Park Fire, in La Pine State Park, with some help from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. 

A $7,700 grant from the OWEB Small Grant Program has funded a log salvage project taking place on Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and US Forest Service lands. Working with the US Forest Service (USFS) and La Pine State Park, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) biologists collected trees from the fire and a nearby fuels reduction project on Spring River for placement in the Deschutes River.

Beginning December 12th, the downed trees were placed in the upper Deschutes River, near La Pine, to stabilize eroding stream banks, add roughness and complexity to the waterway, provide scour pools, capture gravels and create over-winter habitat for juvenile and adult salmonids. Roughly 200 whole conifer logs with roots and branches were collected and placed in the river.

“This has been a great opportunity to use material that would otherwise have been cut and left on the ground,” said Fish Habitat Biologist Jack Williamson. “We are very grateful to OWEB for providing the funding for this project. The ponderosa pine and lodgepole trees that were collected will last for decades in streams and benefit trout by improving habitat and river health.”

According to Williamson, logs that are 20 inches in diameter and at least 40-50 feet long are preferred so they are not carried away by high flows in the Deschutes River.

The tree placement project was also funded by the US Forest Service --Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District, Central Oregon Irrigation District and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon's fish and wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations. The agency consists of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission, a commission-appointed director and a statewide staff of approximately 950 permanent employees. Headquartered in Salem, ODFW has regional offices in Clackamas, Roseburg, Bend, and La Grande with ten district offices located throughout the state. For additional information, please visit www.dfw.state.or.us.