They love helping the salmon! When Mary Mackall and Angel Delgado bought their home along Keller Creek near Yachats, the land was so pretty, they didn’t know it wasn’t as good as it could be for the fish. It turns out the stream is often warmer and siltier than it should be.
“We read an article about the work of the local watershed group,” said Mary Mackall. “We contacted them and agreed to help maintain the plants once they were planted.” We don’t have domestic animals but we have elk! Our goals was to enjoy our land, share it with the elk, and see healthy salmon in our river.”
With the help of the MidCoast Watersheds Council and energetic high school students hired as Natural Resources Crew by the Community Services Consortium they were able to get help to plant spruce, cedar, firs, Oregon ash and other native trees and shrubs to diversify the important streamside area. Funding came from Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board’s small grant program. Virginia Tardaewether oversaw the work for the MCWC. “The Mackalls were outstanding partners” , she reports. “While we individually caged some trees for protection, and fenced others in a group, the trees need to be kept free from weeds until they are well established when the animals won’t browse them. The landowners did all that work and we got almost 100% survival and the trees are healthy and growing so fast.” It wasn’t a small task either as 926 trees were planted.
MidCoast coordinator Wayne Hoffman concurs. “This project has been exceptionally well-maintained. The owners have mowed, cleaned with a weedeater, and hand-weeded as appropriate. Over time, the trees will help shade the creek and keep moisture in the ground more of the year, releasing it slowly throughout the summer months.”
For those wanting help to create a shady streamside with native trees and plants for fish and wildlife and clean water benefits, please contact the MCWC at 541-265-9195.