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Salmon license plate funds replace seven culverts blocking fish passage
Partnership for the Umpqua Rivers
Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
News media contact:
Bob Kinyon, Partnership for the Umpqua Rivers, 541-673-5756
Monte Turner, OWEB, 503-986-0195
Projects underway to open up crucial fish habitat in Umpqua River basin
Construction on three creeks this summer continues a multi-phase project using nearly $195,000 in salmon license plate funds to replace seven culverts and open 16.5 miles of streams to fish.
Project partners will eliminate three culverts in the coming months. In early August, culverts in Buck Fork and Redding creeks will be replaced with bridges. These bridges are made of recycled material: used rail cars serve as their basic structures. Crews will install an arch pipe in place of the culvert on Quarry Creek in early September.
The Partnership for the Umpqua Rivers leads the project, which has a total cost of about $294,000. The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) allocated $194,900 in revenues from salmon license plates. Two culverts have already been replaced, and the last two will be tackled in 2008. 
The project area includes several tributaries within the Umpqua River basin, an important system for Coho and steelhead production. Culverts that block fish passage along these streams have been limiting available habitat.
One culvert slated for replacement next year lies in Redding Creek on Douglas County-owned land.  It will be replaced by an arch pipe on concrete footing. At Weaver Creek, crews will remove a culvert and install a locally manufactured bridge. 
Seneca Jones Timber Company, which owns the land around Little Tom Folley and Manzanita creeks, replaced a culvert in each of those creeks last year. Today, the new 40-foot bridge at Little Tom Folley Creek and arch pipe in Manzanita Creek allow fish to pass freely.
“OWEB funding is the fuel that powers the many fish passage projects implemented by the Partnership for the Umpqua Rivers,” said Bob Kinyon, the partnership’s executive director.  “These dollars, generated from Oregon license plate sales and Oregon Lottery funds, pay for culverts, bridges, rip rap, as well as local contracted labor and equipment. It also provides salary and infrastructure support to the watershed council so we can continue this important salmon recovery work,” he added.
Project partners include the Partnership for the Umpqua Rivers, Seneca Jones Timber Co., Douglas County, OWEB, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Umpqua Fishery Enhancement Derby, Bureau of Land Management, and landowners. 
Salmon license plate purchasers pay an extra $30 every two years above regular passenger vehicle registration fees. Half the fee goes directly to fix road-related impacts to salmon and trout streams by improving water quality, fish habitat, and fish passage through OWEB grants. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department invests the other half in salmon habitat and related projects in state parks.
Since the beginning of the salmon license plate program in 1997, OWEB and OPRD have each received more than $2.5 million. For more information about salmon plates and instructions for purchasing, call OWEB at 503-986-0178 or visit www.salmonplate.org