Crabtree Creek Water Quality Improvement
Renowned for its legendary forests and abundant fish and wildlife, Oregon’s South Santiam watershed is characterized by great variation in elevation, ecoregions, and land use practices. Flowing from the steep, mountainous terrain in the Central Cascades into the low floodplain of the Willamette Valley, the lower South Santiam watershed provides drinking water to the cities of Lebanon and Albany, making this area a priority for maintaining high water quality.
With the growth of the Willamette Valley, the majority of low elevation lands have been developed for agricultural and residential land use. The construction of flood-control dams, the removal of vegetation on river banks, and altering stream channels has resulted in narrow, discontinuous riparian areas in poor to fair condition, dominated primarily by grass/shrub vegetation.
The Hafner Oxbow project along Crabtree Creek expands efforts by the South Santiam Watershed Council to restore the important functions that the watershed provides. By partnering with landowners and managers to re-vegetate stream banks with native vegetation, this project helps filter out any run-off pollutants and provides shade to better regulate water temperatures. These efforts enhance the in-stream habitat that benefits the Chinook salmon, winter steelhead, and other native fish that call the South Santiam home.
* Project utilizes best management practices to filter and/or reduce pollution inputs into rivers, streams, lakes, wetlands or near-shore marine areas