Final Stages of Restoration
The excitement is now building as Knife River has begun to mobilize earthmoving equipment this week to the restoration site in preparation for the start of construction on Monday. This week, Stan Van de Wetering, Siletz Tribe fish biologist and monitoring team member, staked out the locations for the placement of over 50 additional logs with root wads that will be installed in the new tidal channels to improve fish habitat. Placement of the logs will be the first component that Knife River will accomplish. These logs will add to the 100 large logs installed last year, and are a bonus as a result of the restoration project completion being postponed until this year.
Meanwhile, Tidewater Contractors have been working on the final phase of North Bank Lane road improvements. They buried conduit and vaults along portions of the road in preparation for the ultimate burial of power and telephone lines, which will reduce bird strike hazards and improve the aesthetics of the Refuge. They have also begun removing the surcharge added to the raised portions of the road last year to get down to the final road grade. The removed material is being used to fill places where the road will be widened.
Work began today on the final stage of the large powerline burial project that crosses the Coquille River through the project site. This weekend, Doyon and its subcontractors will finally remove the overhead lines that cross the former pastures and Coquille River, along with the poles that support them. The underground lines installed last year replaced the aerial lines' function since last October, though the decision was made to leave the poles up through the winter until the new conductors were well tested. Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative, the owner of the transmission lines, is satisfied that the underground lines are fully functional, and gave final approval for the removal of the old lines earlier this week. We will all breathe a sigh of relief when this portion of the project is completed in the next few days.
An unseasonable substantial rainfall last weekend caused a welcome interruption in the watering of the plantings at our riparian restoration site. In order to help the trees and shrubs through their first dry season we installed a temporary irrigation system. A gas-powered pump takes water from Fahys Creek and sends it through 500 feet of hose to two portable sprinkler heads that we move around to cover the drier parts of the site. Some of our long-term volunteers have been helping keep the watering going. We have also had other volunteers help us pull scotch broom and other weeds that are appearing in the restoration site, which will be an ongoing process for the next couple years, at least, until the native plants get well established.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 5:13 PM in Category: Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration Project