Thursday, May 31st was a warm sunny day in Oregon, perfect for a journey to the Alsea Watershed with Oregon State University and Starker Forest. Our group of about 60 people left the parking lot of Benton County Fairgrounds around 8:45 am and arrived, in our caravan of six vehicles at around 10 am, at our first stop Flynn Creek. Our welcome was given by Paul Adams from Oregon State University.
We broke out into two groups, given our large number, and began our trek into the woods arriving several minutes later at Flynn Creek. There we were treated to some history of the area by Dr. George Brown from Oregon State. His remarks included discussion of the initial study design and results, birth of the Oregon Forest Practices Act, and subsequent research and BMP improvement.
Next was a discussion by Kami Elllingson (Siuslaw National Forest) about some of the history of the site which is an Oregon Coast Range Stream. Mike Cloughesy shared some information of the Watershed Research cooperative and the concept and value of a paired Watershed Study.
We then boarded our vans and headed to Needle Branch. There we picked up our sack lunch and proceeded to the landing above Needle branch. There we heard from several speakers including Dr. George Ice, Dr. Bob Daheny, and Doug Bateman. Their comments included Private Lands management, Riparian Buffer comparisons, Needle Branch harvesting history, stream temperature and lessons learned from aquatic insects.
To put this information in some context Siuslaw National Forest is some 630,000 acres, about 1,000 square miles, the size of Rhode Island. Siuslaw National Forest is approximately 135 miles long and averages about 27 miles in width.
Major tree species found in the Siuslaw National Forest include Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Western Red Cedar, Red Alder, Big Leaf Maple and Sitka Spruce. I am no forestry expert but yesterday was a learning experience and a wonderful day in the woods!
This Alsea Watershed Capstone Tour was sponsored by Oregon State University, Starker Forest, NCASI National Council for Air and Stream Improvement inc., Watersheds Research Cooperative, Plum Creek, and Oregon Forest Resources Institute.
Sat Jun 02, 2012 8:31 am Name: Javier Comment: Nice photos and good story. Enjoyed looking through your site. Maybe I will see you again on a future outing with OSU.
Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:24 am Name: Dennis O'Connor Comment: When will there be another trip like this scheduled? Does OSU do this each year? I would like to join the next time they have one.