The Elk Creek Whole Watershed
The Elk Creek Watershed Action Plan (ECWRAP) identifies historic, current, and desired watershed terrestrial vegetation, aquatic, and anthropogenic area conditions; proposes strategies and techniques to meet desired conditions and objectives, and outlines specific projects planned or currently underway within the watershed. This plan also describes terrestrial and aquatic vegetation and wildlife trends, and suggests directions and actions to pursue to alleviate undesired declining trends of wildlife and vegetation populations. This plan is part of a national framework developed by the US Forest Service to address watershed health, endangered species water quality, forest health, fire management, and forest resilience concerns using locally developed solutions. The key points listed below are discussed in further detail within the ECWRAP.
1. Forest structure and composition has changed within the Elk Creek watershed in many locations causing declines in watershed health, habitat quality and forest resilience
2. Past and present forest management practices continue to cause habitat and environmental degradation necessitating widespread forest and wildland ecological restoration
3. Oak and dry pine habitat, of critical importance to numerous wildlife species, is degraded and continues to decline in many areas of the watershed
4. Elk Creek provides critical habitat (as part of the South Umpqua Watershed) to several endangered, threatened and sensitive anadromous species including coho salmon
5. Key aquatic environmental problems include lack of adequate habitat structures for spawning and rearing of fish, excessive roads, aquatic habitat fragmentation, aquatic habitat simplification, and high stream temperature.
6. Beavers are a keystone species endemic to Elk Creek that have declined greatly in numbers since early fur trapping in the Pacific Northwest and with continued reintroduction, improved protection and management will likely provide unparalleled benefits to fish habitat and populations
7. Human persistence and sustainable use of resources within the watershed is desired, and local organizations, citizens, producers, and practitioners must collaborate and be afforded opportunity to involvement in watershed restoration and sustainable management
The complete The Elk Creek Watershed Action Plan (ECWRAP) contains a broader description and understanding of the Action Plan:
The Elk Creek Watershed Restoration Action Plan (ECWRAP).pdf
The purpose the Elk Creek project was primarily ecosystem restoration. It also included efforts to