Our first Sandy River Basin Watershed Council gathered over 80 community members, 15 organizations, and some of the region’s experts on watershed restoration on April 9 at Sandy High school, giving landowners information and resources to get involved in restoring the Sandy basin.
“Our first ever Restoration Expo was a wonderful chance to get together with watershed residents and find ways to work together on restoration,” said SRBWC Executive Director Steve Wise. “We and our restoration partners got to meet new restoration partners, and to reconnect with people who have worked with the Council in the past. The field tours were a great way to spend time out along the rivers looking at what’s been done so far and what needs to be done to restore wild salmon and steelhead in the Sandy.”
“We’re looking for help, looking for partners,” said the president of the Salmon River Park Water Users District, Al Hahn, whose neighborhood and roads sustained damage during January 2011 floods. “We are willing to do the right thing. We need someone to help us figure out what that is.”
Workshops led by experts from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, Portland Water Bureau, Clackamas County and others discussed key salmon habitat qualities, and how landowners, agencies and the Council can work together to protect and improve that habitat. Some of the slide presentations from the workshops are available from the workshop schedule.
Our Streams of Dreams tours explored restoration areas in the Salmon River, the undammed site where Marmot dam used to block the Sandy, the Bull Run watershed that supplies drinking water to the Portland Metro area. Sixteen of us paddled the middle Sandy, checking out riparian areas and side channels that may be part of future restoration efforts.
Fifteen organizations came out to share ideas, resources, and potential grant funds. The Sandy Environmental Club not only displayed its own projects, but gave invaluable assistance with volunteers to set up, operate and break down the Expo exhibit hall.
The Sandy River Basin Watershed Council is especially grateful to the Portland Water Bureau and Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District, who sponsored the Expo. We also give our thanks to Mountain Mocha, Café Aria, and Busy Bee catering for their generous food and drink donations, and to the Oregon Lottery for donating work gloves. The Expo would not have been possible without the workshop presenters and organizers: Steve Kucas and Burke Strobel (Portland Water Bureau), Clair Klock and Eann Rains (Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District), Todd Alsbury (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife), David Lebo (US Forest Service), Sean Welch (River Design Group), and Steve Hanschka (Clackamas County). We could not have signed up over 60 people ahead of time without the assistance of Rhoda Givens of CCSWCD who served as the Expo’s registrar.
The SRBWC event committee, led by Expo-nential Award Winner Terry Black, Steve Rayne, Don Mench, Christy Slovacek, Bill Westbrook, Clair Klock and Tamara Lundber, were all keys to this event’s success.
Thanks too to our local food sponsors and providers: