Whychus Creek project honored

April 10, 2013
Whychus Creek project honored

A stream restoration project near Sisters was honored Tuesday in Salem with a statewide award from the Oregon State Land Board.

The project, led by the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council on land owned by the Deschutes Land Trust, involved the return of Whychus Creek to its original 1.75-mile course through the 150-acre Camp Polk Meadow property in late February 2012.

The council and the land trust are both based in Bend. The Army Corps of Engineers channelized the Whychus Creek in the meadow in the 1960s for the sake of flood control, cutting out a half-mile of creek.

Restoring Whychus Creek took more than 4,500 volunteer hours, according to the State Land Board. The project created fish habitat while restoring the meadow.

The State Land Board — composed of Gov. John Kitzhaber, Secretary of State Kate Brown, and State Treasurer Ted Wheeler — presented the award to the groups, said Ryan Houston, executive director of the watershed council.

The board also honored the Deschutes National Forest, which provided hydrologists and biologists who charted the revived course of the creek, and Bend-based consultant Aequinox, which planned vegetation and wetland restoration as part of the project.

— From staff reports

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