Greetings and salutations. We’ve been remarkably busy as usual. In this newsletter, you will read the reports from the committee chairs and dedicated members of the organization. We have been extremely active in the community and continue to work hard on Outreach, Conservation, Restoration and Education of our Umpqua Watershed. We have many concerns in this organization about the state of our watershed. I would like to highlight several notable events and concerns.
1.) The 10th Annual State of the Beaver 2019 international conference will be held February 19-21, 2019 at the Cow Creek Tribal resort in Canyonville. It is well worth attending if you have an interest in water, wildlife and beaver ecology.
2.) As reported many times recently, there is a major crisis regarding the west coast of the North American Spring Chinook runs. We have dedicated our restoration committee meetings to this topic. Though we are also actively engaged in local and regional aquatic and terrestrial restoration as well as biochar production collaborative efforts, the dire condition of the Chinook runs has taken precedent for the time being. Responsible agencies are planning to convene and assess the problem, but our intention is to support the listing of Oregon Coastal Spring Chinook under the Endangered Species Act. The South Umpqua River, in particular, is in a dire condition. Historical surveys completed on this population of salmon indicate that the population has been far below acceptable viability standards. A minimum of 600 fish for each run are needed for genetic diversity. Currently, the run is averaging 170 fish annually and this year the adult return count was 28 specimens.
3.) One of our greatest organizational needs is staff to assist with the immense workload that Pat Quinn is handling as he evaluates and addresses projects on public lands. He confers with stakeholders regarding public policy on forest lands and responds to the cumulative effects of adverse impacts on our ecosystems. He is actively and consistently in pursuit of the best available science and best management practices. It is far more than a volunteer Board member can handle. We ask that you please support this staff position by dedicating funds specifically for that purpose.
4.) Umpqua Watersheds continues to support our Summer Low Flow research campaign. We constantly and forcefully advocate for the analysis of the influence of clear cut, short rotation, monoculture management regimes on our water supply. If you, also, have an aversion to this type of forest management, please consider designating your year end donations for this purpose. Again, please make it known that the funds should be used for that purpose.
5.) Lastly I want to especially acknowledge Patrick “Trick” Schneider for his unwavering support of Umpqua Watersheds’ KQUA-LP FM radio station. Patrick needs assistance developing and implementing fiscal support of the station and its programing. Do you have radio station experience and want to support the station’s mission? Contact us. All donations to the station are tax deductible under the Umpqua Watersheds’ non-profit status. Designate your donation for that purpose if you value this public service.
Hoping this newsletter finds you thriving in our beautiful Umpqua Valley.