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NWP: West Eugene Wetlands Partnership

Youth crews planting native wetland species and installing erosion control matting at Amazon Creek - Section 1135 Project

Lake: Willamette Valley Projects

Partners: USACE; City of Eugene; The Nature Conservancy; Bureau of Land Management, Oregon; US Fish & Wildlife Service; Oregon Youth Conservation Corps; McKenzie River Trust

Partnership Type: Wetlands management

Corps POC: Wade Stampe, Operations Project Manager; Bryan Von Bargen, Natural Resource Manager; Jim Beal, Park Manager - Fern Ridge Lake; Rick Hayes, Watershed Specialist

Story: The area around the western half of the city of Eugene, Oregon and the Corps’ Fern Ridge Lake Project are home to some of the best remaining examples of the Willamette Valley’s native wetlands and bottomland prairies. Since the early 1990’s, this resource has been conserved under a nationally heralded wetlands partnership - and is guided by Oregon’s first formally adopted wetlands conservation plan. The "West Eugene Wetlands Program" consists of eight formal partners, including the Corps, who jointly lead and conduct the program’s conservation activities. The partnership’s organizations share their field staff (locally referred to as the "wetheads"), and each furnishes material resources toward sophisticated joint efforts involving prescribed fire, weed control, native seed collection, wildlife and plant monitoring, and recreation management. The partnership invests in the future: conducting an abundance of applied research, which is the subject matter of an extensive literature; engaging its education program both with the visiting public and in the schoolhouses; and regularly involving youth work crews on its field projects. The collaboration benefits the management of several key land holdings - including the Corps’ Fern Ridge Research Natural Area, the Nature Conservancy’s Willow Creek Preserve, and the Bureau of Land Management’s Long Tom Area of Critical Environmental Concern. Numerous wetland restoration projects have been completed in the Eugene/Fern Ridge area, including three WRDA Section 1135 restoration projects.

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