Landscape Stewardship Awards - 2009

Front: Michael Cairns (Project Mgr, LWC), Linda Hofman (PLF - with plaque), Dr. Nicole Buplaix (Coordinator, LWC), Gail Oberst (Communications Officer, LWC), Jo Yeager (LWC), and Jamie Parker (BLM and LWC) Middle: Trish Wilson (BLM), Judy Nelson (PLF), Mat Millenbach (PLF), Steve Snedaker (BLM), Kirk Lewis (LWC), Shawn Irvine (LWC), and Kathy Eaton (PLF) Back: Diane Morris (BLM)
Before: The Old Maxfield Creek Bridge
After: The New Maxfield Creek Bridge with pipe arch culvert installed.
Volunteers making a fish survey in Maxfield Creek
Volunteers monitoring water quality on Maxfield Creek

THE PUBLIC LANDS FOUNDATION presents the Luckiamute Watershed Council with its 2009 Landscape Stewardship Award.  The Foundation grants this recognition to honor private citizens and organizations that work to advance and sustain community-based stewardship on landscapes that include, in whole or in part, public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

In nominating the Luckiamute Watershed Council for this award, Salem District Manager Aaron Horton recognized the organization for its initiative and leadership in working collaboratively with landowners, industries, businesses, schools, BLM and other agencies to plan and carry out a variety of projects to protect the resources of the Luckiamute Watershed.

The Luckiamute River originates in the Oregon Coast mountain range and traces a sinuous path eastward to the Willamette River.  For almost a decade, the Luckiamute Watershed Council has worked persistently to protect and restore the river and its ecosystem, thereby enhancing water quality, fish and wildlife resources throughout the watershed.  The Council has worked with numerous local partners to conduct a large number of restoration efforts (stream, riparian and upland projects), community activities (watershed tours, outdoor schools and community surveys), and watershed analyses (fish and habitat surveys, watershed scale assessments and water quality monitoring).

The Council is dedicated to collaborating with landowners to understand and improve fish habitat.  The Council conducted fish habitat surveys covering most streams in the watershed, inventoried culverts impeding fish passage, and performed fish counts in the perennial streams of the Luckiamute system.  These surveys required extensive outreach efforts to contact virtually all landowners with water flowing across their properties.  The landowners received a wealth of information about their streams as a result.  This data is also of great value to BLM for planning and project evaluation.

The organization’s work on Maxfield Creek, a valuable steelhead stream within the watershed, offers an impressive example.  BLM could not accomplish its enhancement objectives for the Maxfield Creek area on its own, as several projects were needed on lands not administered by BLM.  The Council members’ positive, prompt response as they quickly developed a restoration plan, obtained a large State grant, and worked with two industrial landowners and with other individual landowners, resulted in the achievement in just 2 years of a long list of restoration projects needed to protect the Maxfield Creek ecosystem.

The Luckiamute Watershed Council presents an outstanding example of a community-based organization, a remarkably diverse group of local volunteers working together and reaching out to inform and involve as many citizens in the community as possible.  All the Council’s efforts to encourage landowners to attend informative tours, to engage students in watershed area projects, and to motivate the public to participate in the meetings and activities of the Council have engendered increased understanding of and support for landscape stewardship in the Luckiamute Watershed.

The Public Lands Foundation is pleased to present the Luckiamute Watershed Council with its 2009 Landscape Stewardship Award and this Citation for its contributions to the stewardship of America’s Public Lands.

George Lea
September 12, 2009