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Natural Resources
OPRD Natural Resource Management Objectives
The following objectives have been established by OPRD to guide natural resource management decisions for the state parks.  The objectives were considered in combination with each other, and as applied to the specific situations at each park to determine the best course of action.
  1. Protect all existing high quality, healthy, native Oregon ecosystems found within OPRD properties.  (Based on Oregon Natural Heritage ecosystem types and OPRD’s definition of high quality.)
    1. Generally, allow successional processes to process without intervention.
    2. Identify and monitor existing high quality ecosystems for the presence of threats to a type or condition, based on consultation with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Oregon Natural Heritage Program, the Oregon Department of Agricultural Natural Resource Conservation Program and US Fish and Wildlife Service on targeted ecosystems for the region of parks.
    3. Manage the resource to eliminate any unacceptable threats or to attain desired ecosystem conditions and types.
    4. Following a natural or human-caused catastrophic event, such a major fire, wind throw, landslides or flooding, etc., determine what management actions are needed, if any, to attain a desired ecosystem condition or type.
  2. Generally restore/enhance existing low quality OPRD resources, to a desired ecosystem type and condition, based on consultation with ecosystem agencies as to what a desired ecosystem should be for the park, and for the region of the parks.  Retain some low quality areas for future recreational use and development, as identified in the master plan.
  3. Manage all OPRD properties to protect existing occurrences of state or federally listed candidate species to the approval of jurisdictional agencies:
    1. Broaden species management plans into ecosystem management plans that include the monitoring and management of indicator species. 
    2. For selected lands, determined in consultation with ecosystem type and condition. 
  4. Manage all OPRD lands and uses to keep erosion, sedimentation, and other impacts on important resources low. 
  5. Identify and acquire additional land or enter into management partnerships with landowners, to provide long term viability for important natural resources found within OPRD properties. 
  6. In areas of high quality ecosystem or habitats, endeavor to provide opportunities for the public to experience: Sights, sounds, smells and feeling of representative ecosystems.
    1. Understanding of the ecosystem structure, composition and function.
    2. Larger views of the landscape of which the ecosystems are a part.
  7. In selected areas of low quality natural resources, manage for:
    1. Popular or attractive native plants or animals, appropriate to the local ecosystems
    2. Desired views or settings
    3. Desired cultural landscape restorations for interpretation. 
  8. Place, design, and construct facilities for public access to high quality ecosystems or habitats to avoid significant impacts on the ecosystems. 
  9. For those OPRD properties or sites which are historically significant and which have been identified by the departments priority sites for emphasizing cultural resource protection, management and interpretation, manage the natural resources in the cultural resource areas to support cultural resource interpretation, unless this would result in unacceptable conflicts with protected species or areas of special natural resource concern. 
  10. Protect OPRD natural resources from threats from adjacent or nearby properties.
  11. Limit the use of non-native plants to developed facility areas or intensive use areas, and as is needed to withstand intensive use and to provide desired amenities such as shade, wind breaks etc.. Wherever possible, use native species in landscaping developed sites.

Salmon and Watersheds
Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds
This OPRD policy implements Executive Order 99‑01.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) fully supports the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds (the "Oregon Plan") and related programs. 

OPRD realizes the importance of overall watershed health to livability in Oregon. OPRD also realizes that salmonid fish species are an extremely important component of these watersheds. OPRD will support efforts to restore Oregon's wild salmon and trout populations and fisheries to sustainable and productive levels that will provide substantial environmental, cultural, and economic benefits and to improve water quality.

The goals of the Oregon Plan are very compatible with OPRD's mission to provide and protect outstanding natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreational sites for future generations. OPRD will take the following steps to insure that the management and operation of all park properties will not have negative impacts on salmonids or the watersheds that support them. OPRD will undertake special projects on park properties, which can improve salmonid habitat and demonstrate techniques that others can use. OPRD will provide interpretive programs statewide to help educate people about salmonids and the watersheds that support them.  OPRD will also work with other state and federal agencies and Watershed Councils to improve salmonid habitat. 

Park Operation Activities
  • Develop and implement Maintenance Standards for all activities which could affect watershed health and salmonid habitat and which provide for adequate protection of these resources. To the maximum extent practical, minimize and mitigate any adverse effects on salmonids or their habitat.
  • Review current maintenance and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs to identify activities that could potentially impact salmonids or their habitat.  Revise any practices shown to have negative effects.
  •  Utilize OPRD´s Natural and Cultural Resource Manual when developing standards, planning and developing projects, and conducting operation and maintenance activities to protect sensitive habitats. 
  • Give priority consideration to those projects, which will protect and restore salmonids in a timely and effective manner.  Develop demonstration projects in state parks to benefit public education and watershed health.
  • Follow the Oregon Forest Practices Act when doing any tree removal or other forest management activities.
  • Adopt emergency response plans should an accident threaten sensitive salmonid populations, their habitat or the overall health of the watershed.

Resource Assessment and Project Planning
  • Survey and identify important salmonid streams within park properties according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife protocol. 
  • Prioritize, design and implement habitat restorations in streams that will improve or create salmonid spawning or rearing habitat.
  • Focus on projects that contribute to the overall watershed health.  Select those projects that have the greatest opportunity for success.
  • Review park plans to insure that development and construction activities will not have a negative impact on salmonids or the watersheds that support them.
  • Include protected salmonid habitat areas as they are identified in state park master plans when the plans are developed or updated.
  • Develop a monitoring strategy to evaluate the effectiveness of OPRD actions to meet the objectives of the Oregon Plan.

Interagency Coordination
  • State Park Area Managers will participate in the regional interagency groups to integrate state park projects with Oregon Plan objectives and to keep abreast of what other agencies in their region are doing and any new developments in the Oregon Plan.
  • Unit Managers will maintain contact with the local watershed councils and let them know of OPRD's interest in the Oregon Plan and let them know whom to contact if they need any assistance from OPRD.  Park managers and staff will work with Watershed Councils, state and federal agencies, whenever possible. 
  • OPRD field operations will provide materials such as trees and other plants, when available, for watershed enhancement projects.
  • OPRD planning division, with the support of the field operations staff, will coordinate OPRD participation in the Oregon Plan, the Willamette River Initiative, and other programs related to watershed health.

Interpretation Programs and Activities
  • Develop programs and interpretive material for presentation at evening campfire and other park programs.
  • Maintain records of the number and type of programs and the number of people attending these programs to be included in the annual report.
  • Place interpretive signs at high visibility project sites to explain and educate park visitors about salmonids, their habitat needs and the importance of overall watershed health to wildlife and humans. 
  • Build trails, where practical, for people to view projects and offer both guided and self-guided walks that demonstration projects, including why and how the project helps improve the watershed as a whole.

Scenic Rivers
Include watershed health and salmonid habitat concerns when evaluating scenic waterway notifications.