The Habitat Restoration Technicians at SWC would like to invite our community members to learn about a recent project of ours! We are featuring the North Fork Siuslaw Revegetation Project, where the SWC three-person field crew has been working hard to restore a healthy riparian plant community along Condon and Billie Creeks. With support and assistance from the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI), and technical assistance from the United States Forest Service (USFS), SWC is establishing a mix of hardwoods and conifers in stream reaches where helicopters placed large wood jams in 2018.
Condon Creek is a tributary of the North Fork Siuslaw River and provides spawning habitat for salmonids in our watershed. Our priority is to restore habitat function by increasing habitat complexity and plant diversity using the placement of LWD and planting a diverse variety of trees and shrubs in the riparian zone. This year we have been working on seven plots on or near Condon Creek, six of which are adjacent to Large Woody Debris (LWD) placements. The seventh site is located at the new bridge near mile two.
We cleared just under four acres at seven sites, which average half an acre and planted over twenty-five hundred individual plants. We planted a diversity of thirteen native species. With this we had help from Camp Florence and Habitat Contracting. In addition, this summer we completed the construction of a fenced exclosure around one of our sites. The purpose of the exclosure is to remove browsing pressure from large animals like deer and elk using a physical barrier. This keeps our highly desirable species safe while they are small and vulnerable, giving them the best chance to survive. This is a common strategy on large flat areas where conditions permit the logistics of building a fence.
We are excited to see this project come to fruition and hope that our Community members may find the chance to explore our watershed and understand the importance of creating and preserving biodiversity. This project will continue in the future and plans are being laid to restore many more acres of property. So, from the Restoration Technicians at SWC, we thank you for your continued support and taking the time to learn a little more about our project.