This week we covered all things having to do with water (hydrology), including climate and weather and the effects they have on the soil, and trees, watersheds, the flow of water in and under the ground, and managing forests along creeks, streams and rivers to protect the water quality and fish. Water is SO important – not just to the trees, but to the soil, the animals, the fish and the people downstream who use the water.
During the class we went to the Elliott State Forest and looked at the watershed, starting with the headwaters of the stream and then following it down to see the different types of plant and tree growth along the stream. They’ve done a lot of work in the park to restore the stream by placing large wood in the stream bed. By placing wood in the stream (as it would be naturally), the water flows change, reducing erosion and creating normal gravel beds which are where the salmon spawn.
We’ve done a lot of stream restoration on Dement Creek where it flows through our property. In the picture above you can see rocks that were placed in order to create a suitable habitat for young salmon (and for swimming of a sort).
The classes also covered the rules of the Oregon Forest Plan, particularly about riparian (along stream) areas. We are required to leave a buffer along all streams and to protect them when logging.