South Fork Crooked Riparian Planting
About the place
The South Fork of the Crooked River has its source just to the south of the South Fork Crooked River Wilderness Study Area (WSA). After the river carves its way north through the canyon in the WSA it passes through a patchwork of BLM lands and private ranches before reaching the main stem of the Crooked River. The South Fork has been the historic home to anadromous fish, and has even been the site of successful redband reintroduction efforts in recent years. However, due to the eradication of beaver, riparian habitat loss from overgrazing, and irrigation withdrawals dewatering the creek, the river’s water temperatures have risen and habitat quality has plummeted.
About the stewardship work
Through a multi-pronged approach with private landowners, federal land managers, and ONDA, the situation will become significantly improved in the upper stretches of the river. ONDA is working to seek Wilderness protection for the WSA, as well as improved grazing practices within the river corridor portion of the WSA which is a designated Area of Critical Environmental Concern. In addition, ONDA has engaged with a private landowner who owns a large section of river frontage which borders the Wilderness Study Area. The landowner has removed all grazing from this sizable property (the “Jake Place”), and has partnered with ONDA to help with this important restoration effort. This trip continues a large-scale multi-year effort to completely revegetate the several miles of riparian habitat within the private land.
The main objective of this trip is to plant about 2,500 willows and cottonwoods. These species can be planted by burying a cutting, or “stick,” that was harvested by volunteers from a live tree in the winter and stored in a cooler until it is time to plant it. This year, the sticks will be deep planted in pre-augured holes. We will be planting within preexisting exclosure fences but will need to dismantle and re-construct small portions of these fences to allow the tractor to enter.
View the map.
- Thursday, April 30, 5 p.m.: Meet at the Jake Place on the South Fork of the Crooked River. This allows time for setting up camp, getting dinner and a quick orientation about the plan for the coming day.
- Friday and Saturday, May 2-3, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.: A full day of planting at the work site, a short walk from camp.
- Sunday, May 5, 8 a.m.: We can head home mid-morning.
The landowner has a great camping area of scattered junipers along the river where we can spread out. However, there are really no particular improvements other than a fire pit and some tables. ONDA will provide some additional amenities such as shade/rain tarps and extra chairs. The access road is an un-maintained dirt road, but it is not too much for a Subaru, or even an adventurous sedan driven carefully (in good weather).
The difficulty rating for this trip is lower than in past years, because of the use of some pre-augured holes. As always, everyone is encouraged to work at their own pace; and there are always a variety of different tasks of different intensity levels to choose from to best suit each individual’s interests and abilities. Other than that, this is comfy car camping.
Trip highlights and challenges:
- The satisfaction of making a large, relatively instantaneous, impact to a great area that you are sure to love.
- The excitement of learning a lot about the ecological history of the area.
Participants are responsible for their own food and camping gear, a shovel if you have one, as well as transportation to and from the trip. Sturdy off-trail ankle-high boots are required for this trip. Depending on the weather, it would be good to toss in a pair of rubber boots, especially if your other boots aren’t waterproof. Participants should be prepared with clothing layers, food and water to spend the day away from camp to conduct the work. We recommend bringing your own work gloves to provide a comfortable fit: but it is not required. We recommend that each person bring three to five gallons of drinking water for the trip, since none is available on site.
ONDA will provide work gloves if you don’t have a pair, excellent guidance in the field, and a few group camping items to make things more comfortable (chairs, tables, dish-washing bins, campfire materials, water, shade/rain tarp, etc.) We also provide hot water at morning and evening mealtimes to help expedite meal prep, and coffee in the morning.
An ONDA registration application and medical form are required for this trip. Check the box next to each trip you would like to attend. You only need to fill this form out once per year.
What happens next?
You will receive a confirmation email within 10 working days of submitting your form. The confirmation email will provide information regarding which trips you are on the “participant list” for, and which trips are full, and therefore you have been placed on the “waitlist.”
Six weeks before the start of the trip, the trip leader will send out an RSVP to make sure everyone is still able to participate. Based on RSVPs, open spaces will be backfilled with people from the waitlist.
Three weeks before the trip start date, registered and confirmed participants will receive driving instructions, maps, car-pooling options, and additional information in an email sent by the trip leader
If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact the trip leader.