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‘There is Still Time to Take Action’ – Climate Adaptation Workshop Summary

Scaled restoration strategies for rivers and the forests that surround them can offset some key projected climate changes expected in the Pacific Northwest, according to a group of regional experts who gathered to review climate adaptation science and strategies at Mt. Hood Community College recently.

About 60 conservation practitioners, researchers, students and community members gathered at our workshop Climate Adaptation in the Sandy: Resiliency Strategies for the New Normal, February 27, 2017 at Mt. Hood Community College. Presenters discussed the Sandy’s importance as habitat, history of impacts at the Sandy Delta, projected climate changes including higher temperatures, changing snowpack, and stream flows.

Projected climate changes could increase vulnerability of forests, fish and wildlife that depend on them, but presenters also summarized studies that point to effective adaptation strategies. Anticipating future conditions can guide plant selection for forest restoration, so that plantings are more resilient to the changing Pacific NW climate. Restoring the forest along streambanks, modeling shows, can help cool streams in the long run to preserve cold water refugia, even as general climatic changes would tend to push stream temperatures warmer. Even if it’s challenging, communicating with friends and family about climate science can make a difference.

Individual presentations from the workshop are available below:

Steve Wise, SRBWC: Climate Adaptation in the Sandy Introduction

Robin Dobson, USFS: Restoration at the Sandy River Delta

Karl Dickman, ICF: Taking the Next Step: Translating Downscaled Climate Projections into Useful Information for Watershed Management

Constance Harrington, USDA Forest Service: How do Trees Know When to Start and Stop Growing? And How Will That Change in the Future?

Kathie Dello, ICCRI: Is this the New Normal? Putting Climate into Context in Oregon

Tim Abbe: Geomorphology and Climate Adaptive Floodplain Responses in the Upper Sandy River

Casey Justice, CRITFC: Can Stream and Riparian Restoration Offset Climate Change Impacts to Salmon Populations?

Ben Walczak, ODFW: Salmonid Recovery in the Face of Constant Change

Next steps on our climate adaptation work will include field assessments of reference sites near the Sandy Delta, where climate adaptive plants already are present. Fall and winter plantings at the Delta will integrate climate adaptive plantings in native forest restoration areas to preserve habitat and add long-term resiliency to changing climatic conditions.

Funding for SRBWC’s climate adaptation work is provided from a grant by the Wildlife Conservation Society through the Climate Adaptation Fund. Support to establish the Climate Adaptation Fund was provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF).

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Get ready for the Eco-Blitz!

The Sandy River Basin Watershed Council, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Port of Portland, and The Intertwine Alliance, is pleased to welcome back the 2nd Annual Sandy River Delta Eco-Blitz on Saturday, April 22nd from 9:30am to 3:00pm. … Continue reading

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Climate Adaptation in the Sandy: Resiliency Strategies for the New Normal

What do warmer summers, shifting snowpack levels, changing rain and storm cycles, and lower summer river flows mean for future conservation in the Sandy River? These and other potential impacts of climate change represent the “new normal” that is already … Continue reading

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2016 Year in Review

Year in Review 2016 2016 on the Sandy River reminds us the amazing things that can happen when we commit together to what we love: clean water, healthy forests, diverse, beautiful, inspiring places for all of us — people, fish, … Continue reading

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Salmon, Water Becoming Focus at College

The Sandy River Basin Watershed Council is joining Mt. Hood Community College and other partners to elevate wild salmon habitat and water quality as key goals in future campus management. Working with the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, … Continue reading

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Learn about our 2015 accomplishments

Read our year end newsletter, which highlights the partnerships that allow us to protect and restore the natural, cultural, and historic resources of the Sandy River Basin. Don’t forget that we rely on partnerships and generous funders to accomplish this work! … Continue reading

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Beaver Creek Culvert Replacement Project

Multnomah County is working collaboratively with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Metro, City of Troutdale, and the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council to replace a culvert on Beaver Creek where it crosses Stark Street in Gresham. This replacement is scheduled to happen … Continue reading

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SRBWC Joins 4th Annual Flood of Information

The Sandy River Basin Watershed Council joins Clackamas County Emergency Management, the Villages of Mt. Hood, Hoodland Fire District, and local river geomorphology experts to provide resources to upper watershed residents regarding flood risks on the Sandy River. Through the Flood … Continue reading

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Welcome to our AmeriCorps Community Involvement Specialist

The Sandy River Basin Watershed Council is pleased to welcome Jesse Holt to our team as an AmeriCorps Community Involvement Specialist. A Troutdale native, Jesse attended Reynolds High School and Mt. Hood Community College before receiving his Bachelor’s degree in … Continue reading

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Summer Smackdown Success

As summer turns to fall, the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council team wraps up our third year of the “weed smackdown”, our annual fight against invasive species. We worked this summer in partnership with the Clackamas Soil & Water Conservation District … Continue reading

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