Grant Awarded for Bear Branch Project

Grant Awarded for Bear Branch Project

The North Santiam Watershed Council Awarded $320,103 for the Bear Branch, Prairie, Oak and Stream Restoration project
The project located on Bear Branch, a Lower North Santiam River Tributary in Linn County, will restore remnant Willamette Valley wet prairie and oak habitats, instream aquatic habitat complexity and streamside native vegetation


(Salem) – The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) awarded $320,103 to the North Santiam Watershed Council for the Bear Branch, Prairie, Oak and Stream Restoration Project at their April 24-26, 2017 board meeting.

The award was one of 89 grants totaling $9,315,062 provided to local organizations statewide to support fish and wildlife habitat and water quality projects.

“The Bear Branch property has been in the Sandner family for over 130 years. I am the fourth generation Sandner to own this property.  My children and their children have been on the property to hike and enjoy the legacy passed on by their Great, Great, Great Grandfather.  This is a blessing that is afforded to few and one we do not take lightly.  To be able to restore and conserve a piece of Willamette Valley history for my posterity is an honor and one of which I believe my ancestors would be proud,” says Jim Sandner, Bear Branch property owner

The “Bear Branch, Prairie, Oak and Stream Restoration” project will: (1) restore remnant Willamette Valley wet prairie, oak savanna and oak woodland habitat; (2) restore instream aquatic habitat complexity with large wood structures and reconnect the stream with its historic floodplain; and (3) restore ecological functions of the riparian/floodplain corridor through strategic vegetative management.  Restoration activities include oak release, weed control, seeding and planting native plant species, establishing native plants, and placing instream large wood structures.  Work is expected to begin during the summer of 2017 and will be completed by 2023.

Funding for grants awarded by the OWEB Board comes from three primary sources – the Oregon Lottery, Salmon License Plate revenues, and Federal Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery funds provided by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration.

Since 1999, the Oregon Lottery has provided over $500 million to OWEB’s grant program that helps restore, maintain and enhance Oregon’s watersheds. Combined, the Lottery has earned over $9 billion for watershed enhancements, public education, state parks and economic development. For more information about the Oregon Lottery visit

For additional information about this project contact Rebecca McCoun at (503) 930-8202. For additional information about OWEB and its grant programs, contact Eric Hartstein at A listing of all awarded grants is available at: