Archive | Watersheds

The Watersheds category is about working toward stronger, more resilient watershed conditions. Watershed work rarely occurs by itself — usually it requires working with multiple partners to coordinate actions that make sense over the long term.

Claudia is Coming to the Molalla-Pudding Rivers Celebration!

Come visit Claudia on May 21st!!

Come visit Claudia on May 21st!!

When you see a 29-foot Chinook salmon heading to Canby Community Park, you know something exciting is happening! Join us on Saturday, May 21, 2016, for the Molalla-Pudding Rivers Celebration. A flurry of fun activities will celebrate conservation and restoration activities on these two river systems.The Celebration will offer folks the chance to listen to talks on local amphibians and turtles, hear from a local landowner working on

The Celebration will offer folks the chance to listen to talks on local amphibians and turtles, hear from a local landowner working on streamside restoration of his property, find out about invasive species in our waterways, and learn about conservation activities involving local youth. Come make native plant seed balls to take home and listen to music by “The Other Guys” while checking out displays from local and state organizations. You can even support your local Boy Scout Troop #258 by purchasing a bite to eat from their BBQ!

Best of all will be the opportunity to take your photo with the largest Chinook salmon in the park! Claudia Chinook has newly painted murals inside her belly and a fresh coating on her scales. She will remind us that May 21 is World Fish Migration Day, connecting fish, rivers, and people! Conservation activities including access to habitat and working toward clean water are good for fish and people alike!

The following partners make this event possible: Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District, Molalla River Watch, Pudding River Watershed Council, the Molalla River Alliance, Canby Historical Society, Oregon State Marine Board, Wilderness International, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

New Partnership Tackles Costly Invasive Weeds on Clackamas River

Invasive weeds cost Oregon residents millions of dollars each year, but a new effort is now underway to control invasive weeds along the Clackamas River. This effort is spearheaded by the newly formed Clackamas River Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP), representing 13 public and nonprofit organizations working within the Clackamas River watershed. The CRISP partners just completed a comprehensive plan that sets priorities and strategies for coordinating management of invasive weeds across the Clackamas River Basin.

Why Target Invasive Weeds

Garlic Mustard Control in Clackamas County Photo by CCSWCD

Garlic Mustard Control in Clackamas County Photo by CCSWCD

The invasive weeds targeted by the group are important because they impair water quality, degrade natural areas important for fish and wildlife, reduce the productivity of farms, and reduce property values. The partnership hopes to mitigate these impacts by helping agencies, organizations and private landowners work more effectively across their property and jurisdictional boundaries.
“The strong participation we’ve seen from the partners speaks to the commitment of our members and the need for increased weed management within the Clackamas Basin,” says Jenny Dezso, project manager at the Clackamas River Basin Council and one of the lead authors of the CRISP plan. “The coordinated efforts of the CRISP partners will undoubtedly have a very positive impact on the health of the Clackamas River and provide benefit to landowners living on or near the river.”

Cost to You

The impact from invasive weeds is very real. A recent study by the Oregon Department of Agriculture found an annual loss in personal income of $83.5 million for just 25 of the 131 noxious weeds within the state. The study estimated a potential annual loss of $1.8 billion if weeds were left unchecked.

“In Clackamas County alone, we are tracking more than 31,000 weed populations for treatment,” says Samuel Leininger, WeedWise program manager for the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District. “We’ve got a big job ahead of us to control existing weeds and to prevent new weeds from establishing. The CRISP plan does a great job of prioritizing our efforts in the Clackamas Basin to get the most bang for our buck.”

Partnership Works

“We know we can’t do this alone,” says Peter Guillozet, a Metro natural resources scientist. “Invasive weeds ignore property lines, so working with our neighbors is essential. Metro has been such strong supporter of the CRISP planning effort because helping neighboring landowners to more effectively manage their weeds is a long-term cost savings for us.”
Implementation of the plan is slated to begin in the spring of 2016 with work on four priority target areas with the Clackamas Basin. Partner efforts include long-term goals planned over the next 10 years.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do implement the CRISP plan,” Dezso says. “But we are all excited to see the groundswell of support from our partners and landowners, who are ready to be responsible stewards within the Clackamas Basin.”
Organizations involved with creating the plan include:

  • 4-County Cooperative Weed Management Area
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Clackamas County Parks
  • Clackamas County Water Environment Services
  • Clackamas River Basin Council
  • Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Metro
  • Natural Resource Conservation Service
  • North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District
  • Oregon Department of Agriculture Noxious Weed Control Program
  • Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
  • Portland General Electric
  • United States Forest Service

For additional information about Clackamas River Invasive Species Partnership or for a copy of the CRISP Plan, contact either the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District at 503-210-6000 or the Clackamas River Basin Council at 503-303-4372. You can also visit the CRISP webpage.

District Provides Support for Local Watershed Councils

Win WinAs a local government, the Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District works to conserve natural resources throughout Clackamas County. The District has access to state and federal resources to assist in understanding and fixing issues with water, habitat, soil health, and more.

Watershed councils are even more local, often operating as non-profit organizations working within a watershed to improve habitat and water quality. Councils can access some state resources as well as receive grants from non-profit foundations.

By working together, the District and watershed councils can access just about any kind of technical and financial resource needed to get to the root of natural resource issues and resolve them. It’s a very productive partnership that benefits all of us in Clackamas County.

At their November 18, 2014 regular meeting, the Clackamas County SWCD Board of Directors approved $70,000 in grants to help support the work of eight watershed councils in Clackamas County. This amount is about ten percent of the total amount the District has earmarked for implementation of conservation practices and the support of key partners.

The councils that receive these funds from the District use them to:

  • plan and implement new conservation projects
  • seek grants to leverage the funds we provide
  • deliver outreach and education activities to residents
  • help develop new partnerships
  • employ technical staff and build organizational capacity
  • improve the content and function of websites

In short, councils help advance the mission of the District, and we’re delighted to be able to provide support.

Giant Fish is a Big Draw at Local Event

Fish printing is fun!

Fish printing is fun!

What do a 14-foot-tall fish, a table full of local historical artifacts, and a clothesline of fish-print shirts have in common? They were all found at the Milk Creek Watershed Celebration held at Camp Adams!

Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District partnered with a number of local organizations to entertain and inform community members about restoration projects and the great habitat on Milk Creek and other tributaries of the Molalla River. Over 100 people joined in the fun! According to one visitor, describing the event, “Extremely educational. I learned about Nate Creek and the [Oregon] chub, which I had never heard of before, and it is all in my neighborhood!” Another participant exclaimed, “Fun, family friendly event! I love seeing families participate in conservation activities!”

Education and Entertainment

Eight displays were staffed with knowledgeable experts from organizations and agencies (including Molalla River Watch, Molalla River Alliance, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon Department of Forestry, Molalla Historical Society, and Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District) ready to answer questions and share information. There were hands-on fly fishing lessons, while “The Other Guys” entertained and delighted guests with music throughout the event.

The Colton Future Farmers of America (FFA) were ready with hamburgers, chips, and drinks for hungry visitors to enjoy for a suggested donation to the FFA. Once appetites were satisfied, there were t-shirts ready for fish printing, colorful conservation buttons to make, and guided nature walks along Nate Creek and Milk Creek to learn about habitat and water quality. Two guest speakers provided presentations about native fish, including Oregon Chub, and riparian restoration projects on Milk Creek.

Whopper of a Fish

Claudia Chinook and District Staff

Claudia Chinook and District Staff

The hit of the day was Claudia the Chinook, who traveled to Camp Adams from her home in Dallas, Oregon. Claudia, standing an impressive 14 feet tall and 29 feet long, is the talk of every event she attends. Local FFA students pitched in to assist the young and the young-at-heart on a trip inside Claudia to see murals about the life cycle of salmon and how they exist with other users of the watershed.

This year’s event was a huge success! Watch for another community celebration with Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation in 2015!

A Rare Chance to Learn About Streams

November 18, 2012 - Light rain

One example of stream bank restoration photo by Tom Salzer

Is the area next to your river (known as the riparian area) eroding and falling off into the water each winter? Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District is happy to host a rare opportunity for landowners interested in learning from leading experts in the field of stream bank restoration. Come and learn why stream banks sometimes erode and what you as a landowner can do about it!

Streambank Erosion – a landowner workshop
September 20, 2014
8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
End of the Oregon Trail Museum
1726 Washington St. Oregon City OR 97045

Seating is limited, RSVP by calling Cathy at 503-210-6000 or e-mail to reserve your seat!

Speakers at this workshop are noted professionals in the field of stream bank restoration, and include:.

Janine Castro (USFWS, NMFS, PSU) – Janine, a fluvial geomorphologist*, is a regional expert in geomorphology with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in Portland, Oregon. She is an experienced instructor who provides local and national training on geomorphology and stream restoration. Prior to joining the USFWS, she worked for 10 years with the Natural Resources Conservation Service throughout the western United States.

Colin Thorne (Nottingham University, Portland State University) – Colin is a fluvial geomorphologist with an educational background in environmental sciences, civil engineering and physical geography. He has published 9 books and over 120 journal papers and book chapters. He has particular expertise in erosion, sediment transport and sedimentation.

*Fluvial geomorphology is a science devoted to understanding rivers, both in their natural setting as well as how they respond to human-induced changes in a watershed. – Bucknell University Environmental Center