Watershed Restoration Stewardship

What is the Restoration Stewardship Project?

The Restoration Stewardship Project was developed by the Education Leadership Program at the University of Oregon. It was created in response to a growing need for a monitoring program to evaluate restoration sites within the Upper Willamette Valley. In 2004-2005 the project involved developing and implementing a monitoring program to serve the needs of several local landowners and two public parks. In addition, the project will provide valuable information to future riparian restoration participants on how to best nurture their trees to a free-to-grow status. Now, in its second year a six-member team will be leading this endeavor. They will be gathering and analyzing second year data as well as preparing new sites for integration into the monitoring program. The team includes project manager Matt Peterson and five undergraduate students: Lynn Dean, Noelle Harden, Jordan Shaeffner, Phillip Sprague and Moksha Sunheart

Implementation versus Effectiveness Monitoring:

There are two types of monitoring: implementation and effectiveness. This project is focused solely on implementation monitoring. Implementation monitoring asks how successful restoration methods are at keeping plants alive and healthy. To determine this, planted stock is monitored for survival, growth, and vigor. Using comparisions of these characteristics allow feedback to be given to the restoration process as part of an adaptive management plan. Adaptive management allows restoration techniques to change according to the needs of a site over time. In addition, comparisons improve estimations of time to free-to-grow status. Once a tree or shrub is free-to-grow, they require only minimal maintenance and implementation monitoring is no longer needed. Alternatively, effectiveness monitoring asks how successful restoration methods have been at meeting overall project goals. There are many protocols for this type of monitoring, but they are beyond the scope of this project.

Current Goals of the Restoration Stewardship Project (2006-2007):

  • Assist watershed councils with collection of monitoring data in order to improve success in restoration projects
  • Create and deliver presentations to local watershed councils on riparian restoration monitoring and the scope of our project
  • Coordinate student efforts for field days
  • Provide field experience and skills practice for undergraduates
  • Provide a graduate student with opportunities for project management and teaching
  • Develop a website and poster which provide information on our project
  • Develop a plant field guide with photos and descriptions of species found at our project sites
  • Develop a GIS to store spatial information about the sites

Long Term Goals for WRS

  • Continued collection of data for restoration projects
  • Streamline monitoring process
  • Nurture all trees and shrubs to free-to-grow stage

Phillip crunching the numbers.

Moksha and Noelle trampling through the brush for a tree .

Jordan writing down the data .

Leaving Bristow after a day of Monitoring.