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Tides of change

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 9th, 2013

Don Wilbur, right, discusses native vegetation with Dina McClure, Port of Siuslaw employee, on a recent trip to Wilbur Island. Photo by Amy Bartlett/Siuslaw News

On Wilbur Island, only a few miles upstream from Florence, guests are immediately charmed by their surroundings. Accessible only by boat, the 300-acre site, located across the Siuslaw River from Cushman, is home to so many plants and animals that it is like a journey to another world.

“We were kayaking up there one day and herring were spawning,” says long-time resident John Scott about paddling along the property via the Siuslaw Water Trail. “There were bald eagles, osprey, ravens and gulls. The osprey would pick a herring up and the eagle would make him drop it. It was really a spectacle. It was something to see.”

Property owner Don Wilbur concurs. “If you are over there in the evening, it seems like there are a million birds. It’s an experience listening to them all. Lately we’ve spotted mallard chicks and three fawns.”

“In addition to the ducks, geese, eagles, osprey and herons, something else to think about is species diversity and salmonid health. This is a huge spawning area, so what we do here has a direct effect on sport and commercial fishing,” adds Megan Gerber, Wilbur’s office manager.

There wasn’t always such awareness and concern for protecting wildlife on this little spot of paradise.

For the complete article see the 07-10-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 07-10-2013 paper.

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