West Fork Cow Creek – Restoration from Scratch

3:20 - 4:20



Several years ago, the remote and often overlooked West Fork Cow Creek watershed was identified as having the highest intrinsic potential of any watershed in the Medford BLM District. Based on computer modeling and a rapid GIS assessment, but very little field data, BLM funding was secured for a couple miles of instream restoration to improve Coho Critical Habitat. That money was in turn leveraged while partnerships were developed. The idea of whole watershed restoration was embraced and now, several years later, nearly every landowner in the watershed is an active partner in restoration efforts which collaboratively has raised nearly $1.6 million. Next to no historical restoration efforts have occurred within the watershed, but partners have been able to apply knowledge and techniques learned on other projects in other locations. Fish distribution surveys, water quality monitoring, riparian restoration, and potentially beaver restoration are all components that are being developed. A stream reach restoration prioritization tool was created and applied to project planning. Restoration has been underway for three years and many more years of restoration and monitoring across multiple land ownerships is planned. It may have taken time for the restoration spotlight to shine on West Fork Cow Creek, but the watershed will benefit immensely from the calculated and meticulous approach being taken.

Room Name
Ballroom C