Willamette Model Watershed Program

Stout Creek, Valen­tine Creek, and Bear Branch Creek have been the focus of the NSWC Mod­el Water­shed Project since 2009. Data sources: Unit­ed States Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey, the Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency, and the Ore­gon Water­shed Enhance­ment Board

The North San­ti­am, South San­ti­am, and Calapooia Water­shed Coun­cils col­lab­o­rate region­al­ly to form the San­ti­am-Calapooia Mod­el Water­shed Collaboration.

 The goal of restora­tion and eco­log­i­cal mon­i­tor­ing through the Mod­el Water­shed Pro­gram  is to move for­ward a vision of clean healthy waters with eco­log­i­cal flows, native species recov­ery and diverse flood­plain con­nec­tiv­i­ty and healthy ripar­i­an forests. 

This can be accom­plished in tan­dem with sta­ble economies and work­ing land­scapes that sup­port local pop­u­la­tions, and com­mu­ni­ties that sus­tain those nat­ur­al resources.

In the North San­ti­am Water­shed, Stout Creek, Valen­tine Creek, and Bear Branch Creek are part of the Mod­el Water­shed Pro­gram. All three water­sheds are locat­ed in the upper extent of the Low­er North San­ti­am Water­shed, which drains approx­i­mate­ly 113 square miles of land. It is the most heav­i­ly pop­u­lat­ed por­tion of the water­shed, con­tain­ing the com­mu­ni­ties of Jef­fer­son, Mar­i­on, Stay­ton, and Lyons. Geren Island, the drink­ing water facil­i­ty for the City of Salem, is also locat­ed in this por­tion of the water­shed. Thus, water qual­i­ty in each of these sub-basins impacts the water qual­i­ty of the North San­ti­am Riv­er. In addi­tion, all three trib­u­taries are list­ed as essen­tial salmonid habi­tat and exceed sum­mer tem­per­a­ture standards. 

For all of these rea­sons, these trib­u­taries were pri­or­i­tized for the Mod­el Water­shed Program.

The Coun­cil hopes to use lessons learned and tools devel­oped through  restora­tion and mon­i­tor­ing in these sub-water­sheds to expand efforts to improve over­all water­shed health to the entire North San­ti­am Riv­er Basin.

To learn more about restora­tion work in the North San­ti­am Mod­el Water­sheds, please see the links below:

Bear Branch Creek

Valen­tine Creek

Stout Creek

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