Allen, Jennifer, Autumn Salamack, and Peter Schoenmaker. Willamette Restoration Initiative. Restoring the Willamette River Basin: Strategical Issues and Challenges. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District, September 1999. (Reviewed by Aria DalMolin)

The restoration initiative is an effort to promote the protection and restoration of the health of the Willamette watershed. The initiative was established based on the recommendations from Governor Kitzhaber's Willamette River Basin Task Force. The Task Force was designed to examine the causes of, and potential solutions to water quality problems in the Willamette River. The main goals of the initiative were focusing on clean water, healthy native habitats, strong economy, high quality of life, shared community stewardship, and accountable institutions.

I mainly focused on the issue of healthy native habitats since I was researching the issue of native and non-native species. The report described the environmental and social conditions of the Willamette River basin. It showed charts and maps of native species and plants in the area and how it has changed from how it looked historically. For instance there contained a map comparing the historic vegetation of the area from the remaining native vegetation today. Another chart stated that 18 species have been extirpated from the area since 1850, as well as the information that three types of birds, eight types of fish, three mammals, one invertebrate (Fender's blue butterfly), and six species of plants are endangered in the Willamette River basin. The report also examines how non-natives have been introduced to the habitats and summarized the conditions of some of the major threatened fish species such as the bull trout, the Oregon chub, the spring chinook, and the winter steelhead.

Critique

This has been one of the most informative reports that I have come upon yet in my research. Although the data are about five years old, the report contains a lot of information and is presented in a very un-overwhelming way. The charts and maps are very helpful in understanding the gravity of the situation, and the sections involving native, threatened, and non-native species contain a wealth of information rather than just summarizing, like most of the reports that I have seen. The data are concise yet in-depth; however, the actual initiative itself seems a little broad. If one were to use this report simply for information and history of the area, the report would be very helpful. If one were looking for a strong initiative that would easily and clearly show a path toward cleaning up the Willamette River basin, this is the wrong source to look at. Overall, this was a great source of information and statistics on native and non-native species, especially fish.

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