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Salmon Anchor Habitat and State Forests Presented by Bob Van Dyk and Tom Miewald to the Oregon Board of Forestry September 3, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Salmon Anchor Habitat and State Forests Presented by Bob Van Dyk and Tom Miewald to the Oregon Board of Forestry September 3, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Salmon Anchor Habitat and State Forests Presented by Bob Van Dyk and Tom Miewald to the Oregon Board of Forestry September 3, 2008

2 Wild Salmon Center2 Overview and Presentation Context Wild Salmon Center mission and the North Coast Watersheds State Forests and Salmon Data Analysis of Watershed Conditions

3 Wild Salmon Center3 Key Findings and Recommendations Findings – North Coast of regional importance for wild salmon – State Land is the largest landowner on the North Coast and provides vital wild salmon habitat – Few of the North Coast watersheds score high for watershed condition for salmon; state lands are better condition than private lands – Few areas in the North Coast are managed with a high conservation emphasis; Salmon Anchor Habitat expiring in Recommendations – Extend and Enhance Current Salmon Anchor Habitat Strategy

4 Wild Salmon Center4 Globally Significant Salmon Rivers Wild Salmon Center is an international science-based organization whose mission is to identify, understand and protect the best wild salmon ecosystems of the North Pacific.

5 Wild Salmon Center5 North American Context Many salmon runs extinct or depressed in Pacific Northwest. The Wild Salmon Center regional assessment identified salmon strongholds with high abundance and high life – history diversity. Tillamook and Nehalem Basins scored among the highest in the Lower 48 contiguous states. Multi-Species Salmon Population Ratings

6 Wild Salmon Center6 Key Salmon of the North Coast Chinook Coho Chum Steelhead Sea-run Cutthroat Draft North Coast Area

7 Wild Salmon Center7 Coho 3-6% of historical levels Require summer and winter shelter habitat Summer shelter habitat are principally in forested streams

8 Wild Salmon Center8 Fall Chinook Largest run north of Rogue, appx. 20% of historic levels Since 1990 Tillamook Basin among top 3 Fall Chinook runs north of Rogue Forecast: Largest run north of Rogue. World-class recreational fishery. Juveniles spend less than one year in river/estuary.

9 Wild Salmon Center9 Chum Southernmost significant run in United States Small fraction of historic abundance Miami and Kilchis support the largest runs in Oregon Spawn low in basin 2 weeks – 1 month in river

10 Wild Salmon Center10 Steelhead Salmonberry River is internationally famous for wild steelhead. High gradient reaches of State Forest land are key steelhead production areas. Juveniles over winter 2-3 years. Substantial but not quantified wild runs throughout North Coast.

11 Wild Salmon Center11 Salmon and Greatest Permanent Value Protecting salmon habitat also provides… – Healthy riparian areas for many aquatic and terrestrial species – Recreation – Water Quality – Commercial Fishing – Long-term, sustainable economic engine Protecting salmon is compatible with sustainable timber harvests

12 Wild Salmon Center12 North Coast Context: Planning for Salmon Oregon Dept. of Forestry is a key owner on North Coast of key fish habitat – Little federal land north of the Nestucca River Little land in High Conservation Emphasis Draft Oregon North Coast Ownership & Location Draft Current Oregon North Coast Forest Conservation Emphasis

13 Wild Salmon Center13 Conservation Emphasis and Forest Management Private forests: more clearcutting State lands: more thinning Federal: less management Key concerns – Shortage of large wood for proper aquatic function – Extensive road networks, including legacy roads, contribute sediment – Temperature Oregon North Coast Timber Harvest with thinning

14 Wild Salmon Center14 North Coast Context: Current Protection for Salmon Salmon Anchor Habitats – Reduce risk that management activities pose to salmon – Still allow up to 25% of some watersheds to be clearcut in 10 years of the plan – Expire – Subject to revision in current consideration of changes to forest plan Oregon North Coast Salmon Anchor Habitats Draft

15 Wild Salmon Center15 Assessment of Watershed Condition and Fish Distribution Objective of Analysis Provide insight into the following questions: – Where are key areas for salmon based on latest data and science? – What is the current condition of watershed processes across ownerships? – How to create a conservation plan across the North Coast? – Better understand implications of changes to Salmon Anchor Habitat strategy.

16 Wild Salmon Center16 Collaborative Decision Support Model The analysis was conducted with the expertise and input of: – Oregon Dept. of Forestry – OR Dept. Of Fish and Wildlife – U.S. Forest Service – Ecotrust – The Nature Conservancy – Local Fish Biologists The collaboration developed a model to understand regional watershed and fish condition. Model is at the landscape scale.

17 Wild Salmon Center17 Model Tests for support of the proposition that the watershed is in good condition

18 Wild Salmon Center18 Watershed Condition Watershed Condition Scores: Dark Green: High Scores Dark Red: Low Scores Riparian condition Deciduous component: Measures % of riparian zones with deciduous (hardwood) cover with trees> 14” diameter at breast height Riparian zones for providing shade and nutrients. Riparian Deciduous Condition Greater than 14’ DBH Draft

19 Wild Salmon Center19 Watershed Condition Watershed Condition Scores: Dark Green: High Scores Dark Red: Low Scores Riparian condition Conifer component: measures % of conifer cover with trees> 20” diameter at breast height Riparian zones as a source for large woody debris and shade. Riparian Conifer Condition Greater than 20’ DBH Draft

20 Wild Salmon Center20 Watershed Condition Watershed Condition Scores: Dark Green: High Scores Dark Red: Low Scores Floodplain Road Density Measures miles of road per sq. mile Roads alter the hydrology of low gradient streams, source of sediment. Flood Plain/Road Condition Road density in low gradient stream Draft

21 Wild Salmon Center21 Watershed Condition Watershed Condition Scores: Dark Green: High Scores Dark Red: Low Scores Fine Sediment Shows areas with fine sediment that are problematic. Excess Fine Sediments Draft

22 Wild Salmon Center22 Areas with low scores: – Tillamook lowlands – Upper Nehalem Areas with high scores: – Kilchis, Salmonberry, Little North Fork Wilson, Nestucca Oregon North Coast Watershed Condition for Salmon Watershed Condition This map shows the aggregation of key ecological attributes: Darkest Green: Data shows high support, watershed is in good condition Darkest Red: Data shows low support, indicating that watershed is not in good condition

23 Wild Salmon Center23 Watershed Condition by Ownership Average watershed condition scores by ownership High Scores Low Scores Lands OR Dept. of Forestry Salmon Anchor Habitat Lands Lands

24 Wild Salmon Center24 Fish population data Data were gathered using the following sources: – Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Spawning and Juvenile surveys from – Tillamook whole watershed surveys, – Intrinsic Potential – Expert Opinion Data is incomplete across the whole region. Intrinsic Potential

25 Wild Salmon Center25 Multiple Species Watersheds draining directly into Tillamook Bay have high diversity and abundances. – Chum – Coho – Steelhead – Chinook Miami, Kilchis Little North Fork of the Wilson. Current Salmon Anchor Habitat status protects these areas, except the Upper North Fork Kilchis and Lower Kilchis. Draft Multispecies Abundance, Density, Diversity from Multiple Surveys

26 Wild Salmon Center26 Synthesis & Conclusions Few watersheds scored high for overall condition. State Forests have: – Better watershed condition – High fish abundance and diversity – High Intrinsic Potential areas for multiple species. Salmon Anchor Habitats: – Protect areas that are in better condition currently. – Protect multiple species across the landscape. – Provide the potential for a healthy distribution of good watershed condition across the landscape. – There are additions to Salmon Anchor Habitats that would enhance protection. Oregon North Coast Timber Harvest Draft

27 Wild Salmon Center27 Synthesis & Conclusions Few watersheds scored high for overall condition. State Forests have: – Better watershed condition – High fish abundance and diversity – High Intrinsic Potential areas for multiple species. Salmon Anchor Habitats: – Protect areas that are in better condition currently. – Protect multiple species across the landscape. – Provide the potential for a healthy distribution of good watershed condition across the landscape. – There are additions to Salmon Anchor Habitats that would enhance protection. Oregon North Coast Watershed Condition for Salmon

28 Wild Salmon Center28 Policy Recommendations Extend and Enhance Current Salmon Anchor Habitat Strategy – Adopt for 20-year planning horizon – Add specific key watersheds – Revisit riparian strategies and clearcut caps to ensure protection of salmon habitat while allowing multiple uses – Aggressively reduce harms from known problems, e.g. road improvements and/or removal – Identify and protect micro-anchors (reach-scale) across the landscape Make salmon protection the highest priority in a subset of anchor habitats at the watershed level – Miami, Kilchis, Little North Fork Wilson, Salmonberry

29 Wild Salmon Center29 Current versus Enhanced Conservation Strategy for Salmon on State Land Draft Potential Oregon North Forest Conservation Emphasis Draft Current Oregon North Forest Conservation Emphasis

30 Wild Salmon Center30 Comments and Questions


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