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Council News

Summer Sandy Restoration

This summer brought new homes for the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council and the wild salmon populations we strive to protect!

Sandy Watershed Learning Center

The new Sandy Watershed Learning Center office

The new Sandy Watershed Learning Center

SRBWC established the Sandy Watershed Learning Center at Mt. Hood Community College’s campus in Gresham this summer. Thanks to support from The Oregon Community Foundation, Multnomah County, Kiewit Construction, Western Rivers Conservancy, Atiyeh Brothers Rugs, and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board for support in establishing our new office. You can find us in the Southwest corner of Mt Hood Community College’s Gresham campus by entering parking lot B off SE 17th Avenue, and parking near the aquatic center.  Look for the GE building to the right of the aquatic center, and our new office is downstairs. We will soon provide more educational programs for students at Mt Hood Community College, including internship opportunities, and the watershed community at large through workshops and watershed tours.

Camp Collins Side Channel Restoration

Root wads roll during construction on the inlet logjam at Camp Collins

Root wads roll during construction on the inlet logjam at Camp Collins

Wild salmon and steelhead on the mainstem Sandy River will find a new place to hide, feed, and raise their young this winter. This off-channel habitat is essential during high winter flows, particularly for juvenile salmon. Channels off of the main river are ideal habitat for them, especially during high water events when the Sandy River is roaring by. They prefer cold, clear water that isn’t flowing too fast but has lots of oxygen.

In addition to the enhanced salmon habitat, natural flood storage capacity is increased in this 3,000-foot side channel, in-stream habitat is enhanced by engineered logjams, and riparian habitat is currently being replanted with native vegetation.

An aerial view of the Camp Collins side channel

An aerial view of the Camp Collins side channel

Salmon River Weed Smackdown
In the upper watershed, we teamed up with Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District and other partners from the Sandy Basin Vegetation Restoration Coalition to target outreach and removal of Policeman’s Helmet along the Salmon River.

(Left) Before removal of Policeman's Helmet and (Right) after the Project YESS youth crew pulled the invasive plants

Before (L) and after (R) removal of Policeman’s Helmet by the Project YESS youth crew

The campaign was a success, with 75 private properties surveyed in addition to work on US Forest Service and US Bureau of Land Management properties. Of those surveyed properties, we found 37 populations of Policeman’s Helmet, and all were treated by the Project YESS youth crew from Mt. Hood Community College. Additionally, volunteers including a group from the NW Steelheaders helped by removing Policeman’s Helmet found at the BLM Wildwood Recreation Site.

Salmon River neighbors and NW Steelheaders volunteer at Wildwood

Salmon River neighbors and NW Steelheaders volunteer at Wildwood Recreation Site

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Restoration Season is Open

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We’ve been hard at work wrapping up spring restoration projects and preparing for the summer season kick-off.  Here are some highlights from our spring projects and where to find us working this summer: Spring Review: This spring we hosted two … Continue reading

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Portland Residents Vote to Maintain Watershed Protection

The Bull Run River, before meeting the Sandy River

The Sandy River Basin Watershed Council joined a broad coalition of groups interested in the environment, social justice, and sustainable economies to urge Portland residents to vote “no” on the May 20th primary ballot for measure 26-156. The ballot measure was defeated … Continue reading

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Judge: Sandy Hatchery Violates Endangered Species Act

Salmon R weir 9-12

A Federal judge has ruled that the Sandy Hatchery violates the Endangered Species Act because of its impacts on wild salmon.  The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by Native Fish Society (NFS) and McKenzie Fly Fishers contending that the … Continue reading

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2013 Salmon Olympics

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With the end of coho salmon returns and the arrival of winter weather, we’re happy to report the 2013 Fall Salmon Toss was a success.  With funding from the Portland Water Bureau and assistance from Oregon Department of Fish and … Continue reading

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Over 100 volunteers help plant the Sandy Delta

Photo courtesy of Brighton West

Around 130 volunteers planted 800 trees and shrubs at the Sandy Delta in an effort to restore native forest vegetation.  The Sandy River Delta is undergoing multiple methods of restoration, including invasive species removal, native plantings, wetland protection fencing, and the … Continue reading

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Yellow-Billed Cuckoo Potentially Listed

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The western populations of yellow-billed cuckoo are proposed to be listed as “threatened” to the federal list under the Endangered Species Act.  The yellow-billed cuckoo primarily resides in riparian forests, which have been threatened by diminishing available habitat. Populations have been declining … Continue reading

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Free Sandy-versary Celebrated with Restoration Events

Mazama planting

On Saturday, October 19th, the Council celebrated the 6-year anniversary of the Sandy River flowing free after the removal of the Marmot Dam in 2007.  Two events celebrated different stages and methods of restoration in the Sandy River Basin, including large-scale in stream … Continue reading

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Sewer pump failure on the Sandy

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On October 7th, a sewer pump station operated by Clackamas County Water Environment Services (WES)  failed, releasing approximately 168,000 gallons of sewage into the Sandy River.  This sewage release occurred near the Brightwood neighborhood, and was fixed within the same … Continue reading

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Fall rain brings salmon returning to the Sandy River Basin

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A wet late September is bringing fall salmon back to their rearing grounds in the Sandy River and its tributaries.  Reports of wild and hatchery salmon from Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife and other groups show signs of a … Continue reading

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