Habitat Project a Success. The fish habitat project at "Rhododendron
Meadow" was successfully completed during the month of August. This Autumn
and Winter, with the return of dwindling stocks of Salmon and Steelhead to Henry
Creek, they will find a much better habitat.
Cascade Geographic Society, working in cooperation with Jeremy Sikes, a Habitat
Biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Eric Mauck, a
heavy equipment operator from Boring, Oregon, placed 25 logs into Henry Creek to
create spawning and rearing areas, upstream of a pre-existing bridge. The work
was accomplished under a special permit from the Division of State Lands. The
planning for the stream work took many months and involved fish biologists from
state and federal agencies, as well as from the private sector.
The "key" to accomplishing the project with minimal impact to the
stream environment and the wetlands of "Rhododendron Meadow," was an
expensive piece of heavy equipment called a "Spider Trackhoe."
Resembling something from outer space with its four spider-like arms, this
unique computerizes equipment can go where most cannot without destroying the
Funding for the Henry Creek fish habitat project came from the following
partnerships: Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Oregon Department of Fish and
Wildlife, Portland General Electric, All Terrain Excavating, and the Portland
Water Bureau, in addition to private citizens. Habitat projects like these are
critical to help save the endangered Salmon and Steelhead in the Sandy River
An environmental science class from Barlow High School will begin monitoring the
recently completed fish habitat project in Henry Creek, beginning in October.
They will return sometime in the Spring to evaluate the changes associated with
the placement of logs in the stream and to assess any improvements in the
spawning and rearing areas utilized by Salmon and Steelhead.
Plans are already underway to do even more habitat enhancement work next year.
This would entail placing logs below the bridge in Henry Creek. Like this Summerís
work, the goal of the project will be to enhance the stream habitat for
anadromous fish. Another project would be to enhance an important back-channel
of Henry Creek. Considered ideal for spawning and for fish to escape the
high-waters of Winter and Spring, such work will make "Rhododendron
Meadow" and its related streams even more important for its habitat. Two
culverts on Little Brook Lane, which access "Rhododendron Meadow," and
another upstream, are also being looked at for replacement by bridges or small
arched culverts. In addition, a tributary of Henry Creek that was literally
buried prior to the Cascade Geographic Society taking over the 14.5 acres, will
be reopened and restored.
Potentially Rare Plants discovered by botanist at "Rhododendron
A botanist, recently retired after 25 years from the Bureau of Land
Management, has discovered two potentially rare plants in
"Rhododendron Meadow." Beginning next Spring, study and
monitoring of the plants will be conducted so that they can be preserved.
Retired botanist, Larry Scoffield, who has been volunteering his time with
Cascade Geographic Society at "Rhododendron Meadow," has been
making some unique finds. His work has included identifying sensitive
wetland plants and identifying plants used by Native Americans for food
and medicines, in addition to identifying ceremonial plants.
One of the plants Larry discovered was not even supposed to grow in the
Mount Hood Area. And the other one, he has never seen before in his
career. So, the areas associated with these two plants are being
protected, and next Spring he will begin his study on these two species,
as well as continuing on with evaluating the plant species all through
Kiosk Planned for Rhododendron Meadow
The resources of Rhododendron Meadow are important, and range from
historical and cultural to fish and wildlife and other natural resources.
As part of the Cascade Geographic Societyís Sanctuary Lands Program,
they are being preserved as heritage treasures for future generations.
Assisting in the preservation of these heritage resources are the efforts
to restore and maintain the natural landscape at Rhododendron Meadow. The
most recent activity was the stream enhancement work in Henry Creek that
took place in August. And, more such projects are sure to follow.
Planning for an interpretative kiosk is currently underway for
Rhododendron Meadow that will identify the heritage resources -- like rare
plants and those utilized in the ethnobotony of Native Americans, sections
of the Oregon Trail, wetlands and wildlife habitat, streams, anadromous
fish like Salmon, Steelhead, and Sea-Run Trout, and other resources. In
addition, the restoration work taking place will be included in the kiosk.
Partners for the interpretative kiosk for Rhododendron
Meadow currently include the following: Oregon Department of Fish and
Wildlife, Oregon Wildlife Heritage Foundation, Chief Johnny Jackson of the
Cascade-Klickitat tribe, Carol Logan representing the Clackamas tribe,
Michael P. Jones and Nita Kreuzer of Rhododendron. If
you would like to make any contributions to the interpretative kiosk for
Rhododendron Meadow, either as an individual, family, business, or
organization, or want more information on the project, contact the Cascade
Geographic Society at P.O. Box 398, Rhododendron, Oregon 97049; or call:
(503) 622-4798. All donations are tax deductible and any donation of $250
or over will insure the donor their name will be on a placque that will be
placed and maintained on the facility.