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Tillamook-area wetlands restoration honored with State Land Board Award
For immediate release                                                                                11-11
More information:                                                                                      
Rachel Hagerty, Tillamook Estuaries Partnership: 503-322-2222; rachel@tbnep.org
Julie Curtis, State Lands – 503-986-5298; julie.curtis@state.or.us 
Project involved 44 acres in Miami River watershed
Salem – The State Land Board on April 12 recognized the Miami Wetlands Enhancement project in an awards ceremony honoring exemplary efforts to promote responsible stewardship of Oregon's natural resources.
In presenting the 2010 Wetland Project Award, Secretary of State Kate Brown, a member of the Land Board, praised the project proponents, led by the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (TEP), for their efforts to voluntarily restore habitat for five species of salmonids: Coho, Chinook and chum salmon; and steelhead and cutthroat trout.
Specific improvements include:
  • Increasing freshwater and tidal channel complexity
  • Restoring the historical character of the site's vegetation through removing invasive species and planting native species
  • Enhancing riparian vegetation along the river to provide shade, increase dissolved oxygen, and provide a source of wood for recruitment
The $1.8 million project involved nearly 25 partner organizations, including two private landowners, an advisory committee, and numerous local, state, federal and tribal entities.
Brown commended the awardees for "catalyzing the permanent protection of the project site and other critical wetlands near Tillamook Bay, a federally designated bay of national significance." She noted that the Nature Conservancy is currently negotiating to acquire properties in the project area that will guarantee permanent protection of the lower Miami River basin.
Joel Sacks, president of the TEP Board said, "This is the second time in three years that TEP has received this high honor from the Oregon State Land Board. We are proud of our staff and the high level of work they are able to bring forward to conserve and restore Tillamook County's estuaries and watersheds."  Rachel Hagerty, habitat restoration project manager, was the lead on the project and kept the partners and project moving forward for over five years, he said.
"Receiving this recognition from the Land Board emphasizes how important all of our efforts are in wetland restoration and the need for partnerships to make that happen. We would also like to thank the property owners without whom this project would not have been possible," said partnership executive director Lisa Phipps.
The State Land Board consists of Governor John Kitzhaber, Secretary of State Kate Brown and State Treasurer Ted Wheeler. 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.