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Giving back to Mother Nature

Posted: Friday, Jul 26th, 2013

Siuslaw Watershed Camp participants work together to move plants to their new location. (courtesy photos) One camper moves native plants, such as sedges and skunk cabbage, in an effort to replant along a restored stream channel to return the bottomland to the way it was before the valley was settled by pioneers.

Last week, the Siuslaw Watershed Council brought local middle and high school students to work on stream and salmon habitat restoration projects on the Siuslaw National Forest, including an old homestead site on Fivemile Creek, just south of Florence.

When early settlers came to the Oregon Coast Range, they homesteaded, working hard to clear valley bottoms for life-giving agriculture. An old barn on the Fivemile-Bell property, where a barred owl now perches beneath the rafters, is a reminder of the site’s history.

Students camped overnight below the barn, and spent the next day working in the sun with shovels and buckets.

Wading in mud up to their waists, they dug out native plants like sedges and skunk cabbage to replant along a restored stream channel which will meander along the bottomland, just as it did before the valley was settled.

For the complete article see the 07-27-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 07-27-2013 paper.

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