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Williamson River Delta project receives State Land Board award for 3,500-acre wetland restoration
04/08/2008
 
For immediate release                                                                                        08-12
 
More information:  Julie Curtis, State Lands: 503-986-5298
                               Stephen Anderson, The Nature Conservancy: 503-802-8100
 
The Nature Conservancy leads project praised for partnerships
 
Salem – The State Land Board today recognized the Williamson River Delta Restoration Project in an awards ceremony honoring exemplary projects that promote responsible stewardship of Oregon’s natural resources.
 
In presenting the 2007 Wetland Award, State Treasurer Randall Edwards, a member of the State Land Board, praised the project for being  “a complex, multi-agency effort that’s resulting in direct benefits for endangered fish in the region.”
 
The project on the 3,500-acre Tulana Farm portion of the 7,000-acre site involved removing levees to restore the hydrologic connection across the delta among the wetlands, Upper Klamath Lake and Williamson River to provide habitat for endangered larval and juvenile shortnose sucker and Lost River sucker species, and to improve nutrient delivery from surface waters to the lake. 
 
Removing the levees posed a significant challenge due to their soft, flour-like soil composition.  They were successfully removed on Oct. 30, 2007, by 200,000 pounds of explosives placed in nearly 3,000 holes.
 
Funds to complete the restoration came from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (through Ducks Unlimited), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and PacifiCorp. 
 
Technical partners included David Evans and Associates, Graham Matthews and Associates, LTM, Inc., the Klamath Tribes, Allied Cultural Resources, Oregon State University, ZCS Engineering and the U.S. Geological Survey.
 
The State Land Board Awards were created in 2003 to promote and recognize responsible, sustainable stewardship of natural resources. To be eligible, stream and wetland projects must have received a removal-fill permit from the Oregon Department of State Lands and must meet or exceed all permit conditions.
 
The State Land Board consists of Governor Theodore Kulongoski, Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and State Treasurer Randall Edwards.  The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources. Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will or heirs exist, and unclaimed property. Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon’s Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit.
 
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