With 2012 Stream Project Award

The Oregon Land Board presented the 2012 Stream Project Award to the many organizations involved in the Whychus Creek restoration project near Sisters at its April 9 meeting.

About 1.7 miles of Whychus Creek, which flows through the Deschutes Land Trust’s 150-acre Camp Polk Meadow Preserve, was channelized in the 1960s, which resulted in wetland loss, channel erosion and poor in-stream habitat for native fish.

In presenting the 2012 Stream Project Award, Secretary of State Kate Brown, a member of the Land Board, commended the broad coalition of local, state and federal organizations that provided funding, volunteers, surveying and outreach.

“I’m particularly impressed with the 4,500 hours provided by volunteers who planted 178,000 native trees along the creek. This effort truly embodies the spirit of the Land Board Awards,” Brown said.

The project team was composed of the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council (project leaders), the Deschutes Land Trust (property owner), the Deschutes National Forest (technical expertise) and Bend consulting firm Aequinox. Substantial funding was provided by a grant from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.

“This was truly a cooperative effort, and one that not only benefits native fish, but shows the magnitude of what can be accomplished when organizations and the local community work together to restore important habitat,” said Brad Chalfant, executive director of the Deschutes Land Trust.

Benefits of the project include: high-quality habitat for native fish; restored meadow hydrology; restored wetland and riparian habitat along the stream; channel connectivity; and reduced stream temperatures to meet state water-quality standards.

The State Land Board Awards were established in 2004 to recognize worthy projects and efforts that promote responsible, sustainable stewardship of state resources or benefit Department of State Lands-related programs.

The State Land Board consists of Gov. John Kitzhaber, Secretary of State Kate Brown and State Treasurer Ted Wheeler.

The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources. Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will or heirs exist, and unclaimed property.

Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit.

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