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These are all of the news releases posted in June, 2011.
Tuesday, 14
Beaver Week
It is still more than a month before Knife River will be onsite to begin the final construction of the restoration, but preparatory work and monitoring activities are keeping our staff busy. Tidewater Construction surveyors have been working along North Bank Lane to stake out areas where the road will be widened, and determine how much, if any, settling has occurred along the sections of road that were raised last year. The amount of settling will dictate how much of the road surcharge (added to test the support of the road base on wetland soils) will be removed this year to bring the road surface to final grade. The surveying will also help in the design of the relocation of the driveway to the Refuge office. Also part of the road project, last week a crew from the Coquille Watershed Association cut down extensive stands of scotch broom (an exotic invasive shrub) along North Bank Lane as the first step in controlling weed establishment in soils disturbed by road widening. Cutting the scotch broom will not kill the plants, but will make them more vulnerable to herbicide treatment by Coos County later this summer.

The former pastures have dried out considerably as the winter rains tapered off and plant respiration reaches its peak. It is important that the ground dries enough to support the heavy equipment that will be working out there this summer. However, over the winter beavers have built a beautiful dam on one of the tributaries of Redd Creek that resulted in standing water around two of the abandoned powerline poles that have yet to be removed. While the activity beavers has provided great habitat, we needed to lower the water, so we installed a "beaver baffle" in the dam has lower the water in a way that the beavers cannot prevent. The baffle consists of a pipe that is placed in the dam at the level we want the water to be, with the upstream portion perforated and screened to allow water flow that cannot be easily plugged by the beavers. The baffle was installed several weeks ago, and the beavers have since repaired the dam, but have not been able to raise the water level more than a few inches above the pipe. This has drained much of the water away from the powerline poles, and we hope that reduced input into the drainage as the season progresses will lower the water enough to allow easy removal of the poles. If it doesn't, we will modify the baffle to allow more flow-through. Beavers have also built some small dams in a branch of Fahys Creek on the north side of North Bank Lane, and we are hopeful that they will continue their activities in that stream.

Collection of baseline ecological data continued this week, including samples for measurement of water quality, fish seining in the Coquille mainstem by ODFW, plant inventory work by our volunteer botanists Dave and Diane Bilderback, amphibian surveys, and our regular bird surveys (now conducted weekly).

With the volunteer help of eight members of the local "Hot Sticks" fishing club, over 350 more trees and shrubs planted at the Smith Tract restoration site one Saturday morning in May. This week we began a mortality survey of those plus the more than 12,000 planted in March to assess survival. It looks like we are going to need to irrigate some sections of the site where the soils are especially well-drained to help the plants get through the dry season.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 3:19 PM / Category: Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration Project
Tuesday, 7
Paddle Siletz Bay: TRIPS FULL - - NO Spaces Left!!
Our guided interpretive canoe and kayak trips are full for the 2011 summer season, but if you would like to add your name to a wait list for a specific trip, please contact Lindsay Raber directly by phone at 541-961-8715 or via email at lindsay_raber@fws.gov.

Siletz Bay Refuge includes some of the most scenic estuarine habitat along the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. On either side of Highway 101, starched skeleton trees jut forth from the estuary and are reminiscent of a time when the salt marsh was diked for pasture. Osprey, Red-tailed Hawk, and occasionally Bald Eagle can be seen roosting at the top of these snags. A variety of estuarine dependent birds including Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, and many species of waterfowl can be seen foraging in the tidally influenced waters. The refuge also provides nursery grounds for Coho and Chinook salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat trout. Siletz Bay Refuge was established to protect salt marsh, brackish marsh, tidal sloughs, mudflats, coniferous and deciduous forestland, and the wildlife that depends on these unique habitats. Don’t miss your chance to participate in our interpretive tour of Siletz Bay Refuge!

Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 4:07 PM / Category: Siletz Bay NWR

Weekend Birding Programs offered at Cannon Beach
A free talk entitled "How to Attract Songbirds to Your Backyard" will be given by Dawn Grafe of the US Fish & Wildlife Service on Friday June 10 at 7:00 PM at the Cannon Beach Chamber/Community Hall. She will also lead a songbird hike on the Cannon Beach Trail the following morning, Saturday June 11 at 8:00 AM. Meet at the birding platform near the Cannon Beach lagoons near the east end of 2nd Street. Later Saturday morning, at 11:00 at the city hall council chambers, Dawn will give a talk on The Birds of Haystack Rock. All are welcome!
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 4:02 PM / Category: Oregon Coast NWR Complex

New Salamander Species for Bandon Marsh Found
During our ongoing inventory of reptiles and amphibians at Bandon Marsh NWR being conducted by Ben Wishnek, our wildlife intern, we discovered a new species for the Refuge! It is the Del Norte Salamander (Plethodon elongatus), the largest of several species of lungless salamanders that might be found here. We found it along a small stream in a patch of forest. Although the Refuge is just within the northern range of the species, it had never previously been documented here. It generally occurs in mature forest with rocks and ample woody debris, and, true to its Latin name, it has a particularly long tail and body compared to its close relatives.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 3:59 PM / Category: Bandon Marsh NWR
Thursday, 2
Rogue Ales releases Restoration Redd
The final phase of construction of the tidal marsh restoration project on the Ni-les’tun Unit of Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge has begun. What started as a concept in the late 1990’s and transitioned to action with initiation of land acquisition in January 2000 will finally be completed this September. Rogue Ales and Spirits of Newport, Oregon joined our team to help us celebrate this accomplishment, which was made possible by the great partnerships we have enjoyed over the past decade.

In mid-June, Rogue will release “Restoration Redd Ale� dedicated to the Bandon Marsh Restoration Project. Restoration Redd will be Rogue’s popular amber ale in 22 oz. bottles with painted labels depicting juvenile coho salmon (label attached). A portion of the proceeds will be donated in support of the Oregon Coast NWR Complex’s environmental education programs.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 11:22 AM / Category: Bandon Marsh NWR
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Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, 2127 SE Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR, 97365
Phone: 541-867-4550. Email: Oregoncoast@fws.gov.
 
Site last updated March 8, 2011