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Dam Removal Project Garners State Land Board Award
04/15/2009
 
For immediate release                                                                         09-11
 
More information:
Rachel Hoffman, Tillamook Estuaries Partnership - 503-322-2222 (Garibaldi)
Julie Curtis, State Lands - 503-986-5298 (Salem)
Project on Coal Creek praised for public-private partnership
 
Salem - The State Land Board on Tuesday recognized the Coal Creek Dam Removal project in an awards ceremony honoring exemplary efforts to promote responsible stewardship of Oregon's natural resources.
 
Gov. Ted Kulongoski, chair of the Land Board, praised the recipients of the 2008 Stream Project Award for their "extra effort, vision and dedication to their work."
 
In presenting the award, Secretary of State Kate Brown, a member of the Land Board, commended the award winners for being a "great example of how government agencies and community businesses can work together to successfully restore more than two miles of stream habitat."
 
Coal Creek, a tributary of the Kilchis River in Tillamook County, supports Coho, Chinook, steelhead and cutthroat, and is one of the biggest chum producers in the Tillamook Bay watershed. The Coal Creek Dam dated back to 1949 when the Tillamook Creamery Association built the 30-foot-high structure to supply water to the cheese factory.
 
After the waterline failed in the late 1990s, the creamery had no reason to retain the dam, and sought to terminate its lease with Tillamook County of 566 acres of forestland surrounding the dam. The county agreed to do so if the dam was removed, and in September 2008 the Coal Creek Dam was successfully removed by powder explosives.
 
Coal Creek has now been restored to its historic channel, and significant improvements to the creek have been observed, including spawning salmon and gravel movement, according to Rachel Hoffman of the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (TEP).
 
The many partners who cooperated on the dam removal were led by the TEP, and included the Tillamook County Creamery Association, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Tillamook County, and Green Diamond Resource Company; and contractors Entrix Environmental, Euchre Mountain Construction, and Northwest Energetic Services.
 
The State Land Board consists of Governor Theodore Kulongoski, Secretary of State Kate Brown and State Treasurer Ben Westlund. 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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