Our Newest 1% for the Planet Partner- The Freshwater Trust
Full Circle is excited to introduce our newest 1% for the Planet partner, The Freshwater Trust (TFT). We were introduced to TFT by one of our clients who worked with them on a project and told us how great they are. Having now met the folks at TFT in person and after visiting two of their projects, we couldn’t agree more. This Portland based non-profit, formed out of a merger between Oregon Trout and The Oregon Water Trust, has been working in the Rogue for over 20 years. Engagement in this basin began with programs that worked with water rights holders to dedicate water conserved through irrigation system improvements back to streams. TFT has since developed programs that utilize the latest technologies and restoration approaches to repair the most productive and ecologically important riparian and in-stream habitats in an effort to improve water quality and increase habitat for threatened native fish.
Recently, the entire Full Circle team and some Full Circle clients met up with McCailin Wunder and Lance Wyss from TFT along the banks of Bear Creek in Ashland. Here we were able to learn more about their work in person. All of us have been along many sections of Bear Creek and Neil Creek and are mostly met with blackberries, making the creek inaccessible and often not even visible. Being able to witness TFT’s work firsthand really cemented the importance of their work. After clearing the banks of this section of Bear Creek of invasive species, a large machine operator has carefully placed tree and boulders to create better and more natural habitat. What looks like a haphazard placement of trees and boulders is actually a carefully engineered arrangement to ensure trees stay in place and don’t get washed away in large storms. They are also placed in strategic areas to create a diverse habitat for a variety of native fish by providing quiet eddies and varied creek bottoms.
Following the hardscape improvements, TFT will plant thousands of native trees and shrubs along the banks to keep the creek cool for the fish as well as discouraging the reintroduction of invasive species. Having had the chance to visit a two year-old restoration project on Neil Creek in Ashland, I was able to see the impact all of this work has had in such a short time. Native plants and trees are thriving (some cotton woods are already 20′ tall after only 2 years!) and local salmon have been spotted, making for a wonderful section of creek. While there is an incredible amount of planning and engineering to restore the creek, the end result is natural and I wouldn’t have know work had been done if I hadn’t been told.