Following the successful completion of high priority fish passage, aquatic habitat and riparian buffer restoration projects with federal, county and private landowners in Brush Creek sub-basin, in 2008 the CWC Projects Committee selected Courtney Creek sub-basin to be the focus area of future strategic restoration and conservation planning based on prioritization information in our 2004 Watershed Assessment Action Plan.
Courtney Creek Sub-Basin, a large tributary system located in the southern portion of the Calapooia Watershed, is predominately privately held, and has been recognized by agencies and organizations for its unique ecological attributes including vernal pools and valuable upland oak savannah. This drainage is also home to local migrating native fish species, such as cutthroat trout, and provides habitat for ESA listed spring Chinook and winter steelhead with its forested headwaters tributary habitat and cooler temperatures. The Regional Projects and Outreach Coordinators have been working with Linn County, private timber industry, NRCS, ODFW, and the Eugene District BLM to begin planning upcoming fish passage restoration projects, wet prairie restoration, riparian buffer installation and dynamic farming operations.
Coordination has commenced with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the ODFW grasslands conservation program specialist to identify high priority upland and streamside habitats in the Courtney Creek landscape using GIS shapefiles and aerial photography. The regional Outreach Coordinator will focus on recruiting landowners in high priority areas according to ODFW, TNC, and NRCS restoration and conservation strategies, and will focus on implementing upland oak savannah and grasslands avian habitat improvement projects in conjunction with riparian buffer restoration.
Restoration and conservation efforts along the Courtney Creek tributary to the Calapooia River are part of a larger regional initiative to improve watershed health. Learn more about the Calapooia-Santiam Partnership for Restoration and the Willamette Model Watershed Program, click here. Also, please check out our Courtney Creek Newsletter, May 2011