Published January 31, 2022

Lomakatsi is excited to be working with City of Ashland, The Freshwater Trust, tribal community members, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Rogue River Watershed Council, and other partners to restore the riparian corridor along Bear Creek that was burned in the Almeda Fire. One priority restoration site is Ashland Ponds at the confluence of Bear Creek and Ashland Creeks, a treasured community recreation spot where Lomakatsi has been working for over 15 years. Although some of the native vegetation we’ve planted and stewarded over the years burned, a significant portion did survive due to our regular maintenance including cutting back blackberries in restored areas. The fire presents a unique opportunity to accomplish more restoration in areas where the fire removed dense thickets of blackberry, preparing the area for new plantings.

Over the coming months, we plan to work with partners and the community on an ecocultural restoration effort at Ashland Ponds with the goal of re-establishing a diversity of native trees and shrubs along the creek to enhance habitat value for salmon and other wildlife. This effort will include working with and employing tribal members to integrate cultural beneficial native plants of importance to tribal communities into restoration efforts.

On Thursday, Lomakatsi’s riparian crew and inter-tribal workforce combined, consisting of 10 members, began the first phase of post-fire restoration at Ashland Ponds, through a contract with The Freshwater Trust. After a year of planning and observing natural regeneration, crews began falling a few mindfully-selected dead hazard trees that could endanger restoration workers, and removed dead and fallen plant materials within a 50-foot buffer along Ashland Creek, to clear the ground for new plantings. Visitors to the area will note piles of slash from these efforts, which we plan to burn in March. Beginning in the next couple weeks, Lomakatsi will plant 5,000 native trees and shrubs in this zone. We will install an irrigation system and remove invasive species at regular intervals for the next several years until the plantings become established.
Thank you to all our amazing partners and the community for making this effort possible! Stay tuned for updates.

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