Release Date: 10-11-2007
Funds to be used for watershed restoration in Oregon and Washington
PORTLAND, Ore. — Ecotrust’s Forestry Program will receive $400,000 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to restore important fish habitat in Washington and Oregon. This project is the result of a long-term partnership between Ecotrust, the Forest Service and Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. Ecotrust coordinates the Whole Watershed Restoration Partnership, a diverse public/private partnership working to restore and protect natural ecosystem processes at the watershed level. These funds will help increase the capacity of communities to restore naturally functioning watersheds while stimulating local economies. “Naturally functioning forest ecosystems produce high quality habitat for salmon and other aquatic and terrestrial species,” said Ecotrust’s Director of Community and Public Forestry, Brent Davies. “This grant will help empower local communities to plan and implement their priority habitat restoration projects, which will accelerate the recovery of their watersheds.” Ecotrust will use the funds to facilitate fish habitat improvement by funding community-based efforts to remove or restore culverts, remove small dams and restore riverbanks during the coming year. This work will be conducted in high-priority watersheds, including: the Alsea, Rogue, John Day, Umpqua and Sandy watersheds in Oregon and the Lewis, Methow, Twisp, Skokomish and Skagit watersheds in Washington. The grant can be renewed for up to two years, with the potential to expand the effort into Idaho and Northern California. Ecotrust will match the NOAA funds with dollars from state and local contributions. Ecotrust is a leading conservation organization in the Pacific Northwest and is committed to building an economy in which every transaction enriches people and place. We focus especially on the natural resources — food and farms, fisheries, and forests — which most influence the condition of our watersheds. Ecotrust’s Forestry Program was launched in 2002 to accelerate the adoption of ecological forestry: managing forests for long-term health, productivity and diversity, as well as benefits to wildlife and people.