Gearing Up for a Big Year in 2017

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Don Best’s spectacular photo of the floodplains and deltas of the Tillamook, Trask and Wilson rivers. Order a print at donbestphotography.com

The Tillamook Bay Watershed Council is gearing up for a big year in 2017, with two major watershed restoration projects, four Explore Nature events, and, of course, our 2017 Speaker Series featuring presentations by leaders in watershed science and management. There has never been a better time to plug in to our local restoration community and contribute to positive change in your watershed.

The Council’s first meeting of the year will be held Tuesday, January 31st from 6:30PM to 8:30PM at the Tillamook County Library. We will discuss upcoming restoration projects, cover Council business, and conduct a biennial self-evaluation exercise intended to improve the Council’s organizational development.

Our first 2017 Speaker Series event is scheduled for February 28th at 6:30PM, and will feature members of the Oregon Agricultural Heritage Work Group. This visionary program aims to help farmers maintain working lands, while providing incentives and support for conservation efforts on those lands. We expect Tillamook to be a focus-area for this new program, so we’re excited to learn more about it.

Our Explore Nature events will kick off in April with a Steelhead Ecology hike. We’ll announce the date for that event and a number of others in a future post.

Here’s an updated Coordinator’s Report with information about our upcoming watershed restoration projects:

Council Coordinator’s Report, January 23, 2017

Skookum Dam Removal –The bid package is in a final review by the City of Tillamook, Boatwright Engineering and River Design Group for edits. Bid announcement is planned for early February. Total cost of project $514,298; OWEB funds requested: $264,198. Construction scheduled for summer 2017.

Coast Range Road (South Fork Trask) –Permitting is underway, with a bid announcement planned for February. A site walk-through is planned for Feb 7th with Troy Laws to designate large wood sites and to map out excavation areas in the roadbed. Total cost of project: $129,465; OWEB funds requested: $91,365. Construction scheduled for summer 2017.

Mill Creek Culverts (Salmon Superhwy) –Letters of Intent needed from landowners on private crossings. Outreach has begun, with the goal of having landowners on board by early February. Once we have landowner buy-in, we can begin developing an OWEB grant application—either a TA for designs or a restoration grant for implementation. $193,000 secured (USFWS & TCPWD) plus Joint Chief’s dollars, which should be allocated soon.

 Mill Creek Habitat Enhancement –Dave Harris and Maysa Miller (NORP) walked the site and made detailed notes to help determine a final planting plan so they can plan accordingly. Seeking permission from the Tillamook Adventist School to cut willows to be deposited in the beaver-dam stretch of Mill Creek ASAP. Final reporting to OWEB is underway.

Bill Creek, Trask River – We will be visiting the Bill Creek site Feb 7th with Troy Laws, Mark Meleason and Jorge Rios. The hope is that it will be a strong prospect for our next OWEB restoration grant application.

Education & Outreach – Our 2017 Speaker Series is in development, with a few speakers set. We’re also talking with Pelican Brewing about starting a Science Pub series.

Science Discovery Nights at South Prairie and Garibaldi Schools went very well, and Nehalem School’s event is this Thursday. We’re also working with students to help them plan their science projects.

Upcoming eventsJanuary 31st, Monthly Meeting and Council Self-Evaluation, Tillamook County Library, 6:30PM.

February 28th – Speaker Series: OWEB’s New Agricultural Heritage Program and what it might mean for Tillamook County, Tillamook County Library, 6:30PM.

For more information contact: Robert Russell, Council Coordinator, 503-322-0002 or email us at tillamookbaywatershedcouncil@gmail.com

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