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Secretary of State Dennis Richardson; Liz Redon, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board; Eric Wold, Jason Nuchols and Melissa Olson, The Nature Conservancy; Governor Kate Brown; State Treasurer Tobias Read; Jill Ory, NOAA Restoration Center; Andrew Dutterer,
Secretary of State Dennis Richardson; Liz Redon, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board; Eric Wold, Jason Nuchols and Melissa Olson, The Nature Conservancy; Governor Kate Brown; State Treasurer Tobias Read; Jill Ory, NOAA Restoration Center; Andrew Dutterer,
Willamette Confluence Project receives State Land Board Award (Photo) - 06/12/18

Project in Eugene-Springfield area restored 630 acres of Willamette River floodplain

Salem – At their meeting today, the State Land Board honored representatives of the Willamette Confluence Restoration Project with the 2017 Stream Project Award. The annual awards recognize responsible, sustainable stewardship of Oregon’s natural resources.

At the beginning of the meeting, Governor Kate Brown provided an overview of the annual awards program, which is now in its 14th year.  

“Recognizing innovative and collaborative projects that improve the health and habitats of streams and wetlands is an important way for the Land Board to thank all those involved in the projects,” Governor Brown said. “We also want to encourage more partnership projects throughout Oregon. To date, the Land Board has presented 31 awards for a wide array of projects in all corners of the state.”

The Willamette Confluence project, spearheaded by The Nature Conservancy, was recognized for multi-year environmental improvements to an area that was historically mined for gravel. In presenting the award, Treasurer Tobias Read, a member of the Land Board, thanked the project partners for their “impressive work since purchasing the restoration property in 2010.” Highlights of the restoration include:

  • The Pudding Ponds project, which created off-channel habitat on 130 acres and included planting 150,000 trees and shrubs (2014)
  • Enhancement of 174 acres and replanting on 64 acres of floodplain forest at the Coast Fork/Turtle Flats area (2016)
  • Restoration at the Lower Middle Fork which enhanced 330 acres and planting on 151 acres of floodplain forest and another 39 acres of prairie (2017)
  • Extensive reuse of materials onsite, including quarry rock and topsoil from old mining operations

“We are really grateful for all the fantastic partners we had on this project. They helped fund the project and contributed volunteer hours to help implement it”, said Jason Nuckols, program manager with The Nature Conservancy. “We couldn’t have completed it without this strong collaboration.”

Partners included NOAA Fisheries, the Meyer Memorial Trust, Bonneville Power Administration, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Geological Survey, Portland General Electric, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and private contributors. About 250 volunteers from the Friends of Buford Park and Mt. Pisgah participated in 15 work parties, contributing more than 2600 hours of work.

The State Land Board consists of Governor Kate Brown, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson and State Treasurer Tobias Read. The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources. Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will or heirs exist, and unclaimed property. Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit.

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