Coordinator, Bear Creek Watershed CouncilMedford, Oregon
Trees Save Endangered Fish
The shading affect of trees not only provides comfort for people, but also ensures the survival of cold water fish. Frances Oyung heads a collaborative effort to reduce the hot glare of summer sun on this important tributary of the Rogue River.
"Shade from trees is the primary factor in reducing the creek's temperature and keeping salmon alive," says Frances. Through a grant from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Frances and her partners have planted more than 600 native trees, including cottonwoods, Oregon ash, alders and a variety of conifers.
Were it not for support from state officials, Bear Creek would be overheated and fish would be unable to survive.
The overall goal is to reverse the effect of 150 years of land uses that have led to a high level of stress on coho salmon, Chinook salmon and steelhead trout.
"It is a slow process and gargantuan job," says Frances. But the cooling effect of restored trees is already making a difference.