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NWP: Watershed Council MOUs

Long Tom Watershed Council – water quality monitoring; 410-square mile watershed surrounds Fern Ridge Lake Project
Cougar Lake Project – construction of temperature control tower, located on McKenzie River

Lake: Willamette Valley Projects

Partners: USACE; Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council; Long Tom Watershed Council; McKenzie Watershed Council; Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council; North Santiam Watershed Council; South Santiam Watershed Council

Partnership Type: Watershed Councils

Corps POC: Wade Stampe, Operations Project Manager; Rick Hayes, Watershed Specialist; Bryan VonBargen, Natural Resource Manager

Story: One of the outstanding features of the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds is the plan’s reliance upon watershed councils - grassroots groups of citizens and other stakeholders - who take on self-directed local work in enhancing and restoring the health of the state’s watersheds and native fish populations. In the Willamette basin, there are over two-dozen such councils currently operating, most organized within fourth field drainages. The Corps’ Willamette Valley Project has multiple purpose storage projects occupying six of the Willamette’s watersheds, and these river systems are strongly influenced by the project’s conservation season and flood control operations. The project staff has participated with some of these councils for several years now: helping some form and initiate an operation, providing technical assistance, and contributing service in these groups’ work committees and various leadership boards. The councils have succeeded in completing numerous stream projects – and have gathered an immense amount of useful information in the course of completing their watershed assessments, conducting ongoing water quality monitoring, and evaluating their completed restoration projects. These citizen groups have been instrumental supporters and reviewers of major efforts in the basin, such as the Corps’ Willamette Temperature Control Project. Most importantly, participating with the councils has provided the project with an invaluable avenue for communicating with watershed stakeholders and mutually understanding the complex issues in the basin.

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