OPRD has conducted previous habitat restoration work at Bandon State Natural Area, Sitka Sedge State Natural Area and Nehalem Bay State Park. Habitat maintenance work continues at these sites and additional restoration may be necessary in the future.
In 2023-2024 Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will be conducting habitat restoration work at Sitka Sedge State Natural Area, Nehalem Bay State Park and Bandon State Natural Area. This work may include ongoing maintenance outside of snowy plover nesting season.
Project summaries for 2021-2022
OPRD successfully received a grant to conduct a habitat restoration project at Sitka Sedge SNA. Restoration will include removal of invasive vegetation (e.g., European and American beachgrass, Scotch broom), other vegetation that has encroached into the previous open sandy beach along with dune contouring to improve habitat for the Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed western snowy plover. The habitat restoration work is required by the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), an agreement between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and OPRD. OPRD received an ocean shore alteration permit for the work, which included Tillamook County planning review and concurrence. Site investigations occurred to meet the Section 106 requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act and SPHO approval will occur prior to any site construction. Work is expected to begin this fall and will be completed no later than the end of February, 2022. Potential contractors may be meeting on site, using the access point at Tierra Del Mar during the first week of October to visit the restoration site for a pre-bid meeting.
Potential contractors met
on site on 10/7, using the access point at Tierra Del Mar to visit the restoration site for a pre-bid meeting with state park staff. 1/19/2022
The selected contractor met
on site on 1/18 with state park staff and archeological monitors. The motor vehicle access point at Tierra Del Mar was used to access the ocean shore. The contractor met with staff, staged equipment at the restoration site and began restoration work. Now that the equipment is onsite you can anticipate daily passenger vehicle traffic which will include the contractor and OPRD personnel. We anticipate that the project will not take more than two weeks to complete at which time the equipment will mobilize off-site once again utilizing the Tierra Del Mar vehicle beach access.
The contractor continued work and expects to complete this portion of restoration work early this week. Equipment could demobilize off the beach as early as the afternoon of the 24th.
As part of OPRD’s ongoing habitat restoration in the dunes at the north end of Sitka Sedge State Natural Area for the ESA listed western snowy plover, we intend to manage the remaining European beachgrass infestation on the seaward edge of the area we recontoured this fall. This area was not recontoured due to regulatory restrictions on sand placement in the tidal zone. The planned management treatment will involve use of a contractor to spray the thin strip of remaining infested habitat with an herbicide approved for use in sensitive restoration habitat and aquatic environments, the area will have notices posted during the treatment. The intention is for the beachgrass to decay and allow the strip to be leveled by wind over time so that it blends with the recontoured area behind it. The treatment will occur prior to the start of western snowy plover nesting season (March 15, 2022). After OPRD achieves control of invasive weeds, native dune plants will be established that are appropriate to the low native dune ecosystem. This restoration aims to restore the “wide beach”, which is the environment that plovers depend on and that was naturally present in the area prior to invasion by European beachgrass and scotch broom. European beachgrass and scotch broom were introduced in the early 20th century. They stabilized the sand and slowly ate into the beach, narrowing the area snowy plovers could nest. This “wide beach” restoration goal will give snowy plovers more room to nest and raise their young. It will be easier for them to camouflage their nests and there will be fewer places for predators to hide. Having a wide restored beach will also make it easier for people to share the beach with the plovers.
A drive on beach permit was issued for the scheduled treatment so you may notice one day of single vehicle access on the ocean shore.
European beachgrass within the Snowy Plover restoration area at Sitka Sedge on October 18th. The contractor will post notices around the site and at the trailhead kiosk within the park and has obtained a Drive on Beach Permit for this work.