Aquatic Habitat Restoration

Healthy streamside forests are essential to fish, water quality, and wildlife habitat

Since our inception in 1995, Lomakatsi has been deeply involved in streamside restoration efforts around Oregon’s Rogue Valley and beyond. We work with agency, tribal, municipal, and nonprofit partners to raise funding, plan, and implement projects that enhance and protect important waterways.

Streamside restoration efforts focus on enhancing salmon habitat, improving fish passage, providing sources of in-stream wood, and replanting riparian forests to benefit a variety of wildlife from birds to pollinators. Many projects are accomplished on private lands through long-standing cooperative agreements with the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, and local Watershed Councils.

Locations where Lomakatsi works include Bear Creek and its tributaries, Cottonwood Creek, and Kitchen Creek, just to name a few.

Lomakatsi Riparian Restoration Goals

  • Enhance salmon habitat

    Healthy streamside forests provides shade, lowering summer stream temperatures to benefit salmon and other aquatic wildlife. Native trees and shrubs provide an important source of organic nutrients, as well as a source of in-stream wood that helps develop ideal spawning habitat.

  • Reduce erosion and improve water quality

    The root systems of streamside vegetation help retain soils, help more water soak into the ground, and reduce stream channelization. They also filter pollutants and reduce the amount of sediment entering the waterway, improving water quality.

  • Replace invasive species with native plants

    Invasive species can degrade habitat value, block future generations of native trees from growing, and present a significant fire hazard. After they are removed, we plant a variety of native trees, shrubs, and pollinator plants—and also encourage natural regeneration of favored species.

  • Improve habitat for birds, pollinators, and other wildlife

    A thriving streamside forest benefits not only fish, but also birds, butterflies, beaver, and other wildlife that are important to overall ecosystem health. Some species rely on riparian corridors during migration events to survive.

Post-Fire Ecological Restoration

Lomakatsi has been working closely with local governments, tribes, agencies, non-profits, and the community to restore areas impacted by the 2020 wildfire season. In the Almeda Fire area, this has included activities from emergency erosion control measures in partnership with Jackson County, to long-term restoration of heavily-damaged streamside forests along Bear Creek.

Community-Based Restoration

Community members have played an instrumental role in Lomakatsi’s aquatic and riparian restoration efforts. We strive to incorporate service-learning opportunities into projects through partnerships with schools and local organizations. Thousands of students have put their hands on the land to enhance local waterways in the Rogue Valley, including through our annual Ashland Watershed Youth Training & Employment Program and a long-term partnership with Helman Elementary School.

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