Projects currently being developed by the MidCoast Watersheds Council
South Beaver Creek Riparian Restoration
The headwaters of South Beaver Creek are in timberland, some in Siuslaw NF, some private. The streams drop quickly to low elevation, then are low gradient for most its length. These low gradient reaches flow through flat valley floors that experience extensive flooding in winter. These bottomlands are heavily vegetated with reed-canary grass, which in this environment is very effective a preventing establishment of woody vegetation. Most of the area lacks effective riparian buffers.
This project aims to enhance riparian vegetation along South Beaver Creek and Walker creek, a direct tributary to Alsea Bay. These are areas that are mostly dominated by non-native reed canary grass, and where channel simplification and alterations have been common in the past to “improve” pastures for grazing. This project would focus on planting of riparian vegetation to shade out reed canary grass, increase shade to reduce stream temperatures and planting of beaver food base to encourage beaver activity. Also, LWD placement is being considered to increase stream complexity and rearing habitat. This project is moving forward with a phased approach, with phase I consisting of seven landowners currently agreeing to take part.
Steer Creek LWD and Riparian Enhancement
The Steer Creek watershed comprises approximately 10.8 Km sq. in the Oregon Coast Range. In its upper reaches (above river mile 5.0), the stream lies within a moderately steep V-shaped valley, where aquatic habitats are dominated by rapids and riffles interspersed with a mix of dammed, scour and plunge pools. Below RM 5.0 the valley widens and the channel is principally terrace constrained (70-100 %) all the way to the mouth and its confluence with Rock Cr.
Two general types of land use affect Steer Creek and its ability to support Coho production: Timber harvest on the adjacent hillslopes and rural agricultural (livestock grazing). Lower reaches of the basin are bordered by active and abandoned pastures with a limited riparian canopy. Temperature limitations are a potential concern for Steer Cr and the mainstem of Rock below its confluence.
Previous wood placements in the basin occurred in 1996-97 and 2006-2007. Much of the wood from these projects has either been buried by sediment or has been pushed out of the main channel, limiting interaction with the creek. We are proposing to give the system another shot of Large Woody Debris, as well as assess past riparian planting projects and how they could be augmented.