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Report Shows Continued Wetland Loss
Oregon wetland  
Though wetland loss in the Willamette Valley has slowed in recent decades, it continues to occur, according to a recent study by the Department of State Lands and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wetland and Land Use Change in the Willamette Valley, Oregon: 1994 to 2005 replicated an original study covering the time period 1982 to 1994 in order to reveal trends over time.
During the first 12-year period, there was an estimated net loss of 6,877 acres of wetland to upland land uses, an average of 573 acres per year. Between 1994 and 2005, there was an estimated net loss of 3,932 acres of wetland to upland, an average of 357 acres per year. The only type of wetland that showed an increase between 1994 and 2005 was open water ponds, which are primarily constructed farm ponds or aesthetic ponds.
The main cause of wetland loss shifted significantly between the two time periods: 
  • Between 1982 and 1994, 67 percent of the loss was to upland agricultural land uses.
  • Between 1994 and 2005, a period of rapid population and economic growth, 68 percent of the loss was to urban and rural development.
"While we're making progress in slowing the loss of wetlands, as a state committed to a healthy environment, we clearly need to keep focused on the goal of 'no net loss of wetlands' throughout the Willamette Valley and elsewhere," said Janet Morlan, former DSL Wetlands Program manager. Morlan is one of the report's four authors.