December 2017 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes

McKenzie Watershed Council

December 14, 2017

Weyerhaeuser Co.

785 N. 42nd (East Entrance)




Council Partners:

Diane Albino (Mohawk Watershed Partnership), Brian Brazil (International Paper), Bob Bumstead (McKenzie Flyfishers), Dana Burwell (McKenzie River Guides), ), Lara Colley (Resident Partner), Nate Day (McKenzie School District, Arlene Dietz (Rice Family Farms), Daniel Dietz (McKenzie River Trust), Rod Fosback (Northwest Steelheaders), David Kretzing (Resident Partner), Andy McWilliams (Resident Partner), Karl Morgenstern (EWEB), Libby Morrison (Wildish), Ralph Perkins (Upper Willamette SWCD), Joe Pishioneri (City of Springfield), Maryanne Reiter (Weyerhaeuser), Wade Stampe (Resident Partner), Sue Zeni (Resident Partner),

Staff: Justin Demeter, Jennifer Weber, Jared Weybright

Visitors: Randy Hledik, Matthew Prichard, Nancy Toth (EWEB), Todd Miller (City of Springfield)



Carol Ach (Resident Partner), Chad Helms (Army Corps of Engineers), Mike McDowell (Resident Partner), Ray Rivera (McKenzie River Ranger District, USFS), Emily Semple (Eugene City Council), Mark Stephen (BLM), Jeff Ziller (ODFW), Steve Raymen (Resident Partner), Steve Mealey (McKenzie River Guides), Keir Miller (Lane County), Amanda Gilbert (Staff).


  1. Introductions and Approval of Agenda

The proposed agenda approved as written, all partners showing consensus level 3.


  1. Public Comment

There were no public comments.


  1. November 2017 Meeting Minutes

Minutes from November, David Kretzing stated that Darren Cross is the new ranger at USFS McKenzie River Ranger Station. Council approved November meeting minutes as amended.


  1. Partner announcements:

Ralph Perkins- UWSWCD will be hosting Mace Vaughan, a nationally recognized expert on pollinators, on Feb 6th (approximate 7:00 PM start time). Mr. Vaughan will be giving a presentation on pollinators at the Unitarian Church on 13th and Chambers. Flyers will be available at the next meeting.


Dana Burwell- McKenzie River Guides are continuing the push and fundraising effort for the McKenzie Discovery Center. Mr. Burwell commented on the recent MWC/USFS tour of the South Fork McKenzie River project site and Deer Creek (Upper) floodplain restoration project. There was concern from a number of members who guide on the South Fork regarding the loss of a navigable channel. About half a dozen guides have clients who regularly float the South Fork. After some discussion, the Guides voted unanimously to support the South Fork project based on the restoration potential of the project and potential benefit to the fishery.


Nate Day- McKenzie High School environmental science class students have been using Finn Rock Reach for scientific inquiry. The three groups have focused studies on soil health, highway runoff and its effect on salmon, and moss as an air pollution indicator. Mr. Day expressed his gratitude to MRT for allowing access to Finn Rock Reach for these studies.


Karl Morgenstern- Mr. Morgenstern reported that EWEB is currently working on their 10-year strategic plan that will fund six existing programs; baseline water quality monitoring, emergency response system, Healthy Farms/Clean Water, Pure Water Partners, urban run-off mitigation). The EWEB Board will consider the adoption of the plan at its meeting on January 9th.


MRT- Mr. Dietz reported that MRT received a grant from Land Trust Alliance for the development of a site plan of Finn Rock Reach.


Bob Bumstead- Mr. Bumstead reported that he enjoyed his time with Salmon Watch this year and that it was a good season.


Andy McWilliams- Mr. McWilliams reported that Wayfarer Resort is a proud sponsor of the “Four Seasons on the McKenzie” collaboration with the Eugene Symphony this February. He also encouraged the council to buy tickets for the event.


  1. Staff reports:

Justin Demeter reported on preliminary Salmon Watch numbers and express gratitude for those that participated. He also reported that the WATERS program is going well, with students from Mohawk and McKenzie high schools using new equipment, funded through the EPA grant, for water quality testing. Students are now on break for the holidays. Mr. Demeter stated that the Salmon Watch Volunteer Appreciation event is being planned for January 19th.


Jennifer Weber reported that she was not at last meeting due to workload associated with the recently completed Deer Creek Phase II project. Contractors completed the project in mid-November. The project added seventeen whole trees to approximately 0.5 miles of the creek.

Initial outreach through the Pure Waters Partners program has started. Initial landowner feedback has been positive with 23 replies, four access agreements completed, and five site visits scheduled for next week. The goal for the initial round of outreach is to complete 40 assessments. Outreach is a partnership among EWEB, SWCD, and MWC. Project maintenance is ongoing at several riparian restoration sites. At the Filacres property, contractors completed the site preparation through the removal of ivy and blackberry. Planting will occur in February 2018. At Whitewater Ranch round two of planting on Goose Creek will occur in February 2018. MWC staff, in partnership with the BLM, recently completed a site visit to the proposed in-stream restoration site on Deer Creek (lower) with the OWEB Willamette Review Team. The site visit is part of the OWEB grant review process. The site visit seemed to go well, but funding is very competitive this cycle.


Ms. Weber stated that Jared Weybright is running late due to a scheduling conflict with a Meyer Memorial Trust meeting in Portland. Ms. Weber stated that interviews for the new operations staff member have concluded. Five candidates were interviewed, and the new staff member will start Jan 3rd. The MWC and USFS continue planning and outreach for the Lower South Fork McKenzie project. A site visit was completed on December 5th. The Rivers-to-Ridges partnership formally accepted the MWC as a member last week. Mr. Weybright joined the meeting late. Mr. Weybright reported that local watershed councils, the MRT and the Friends of Buford Park have been meeting over the last year and a half to explore collaboration opportunities. The group successfully applied to the Meyer Memorial Trust for support expanding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) actions among local conservation organizations. Staff will provide additional information on the topic later. USFS Researchers from HJ Andrews will present on Western Cascade fire ecology at the March MWC meeting. Mr. Weybright also stated that staff is trying out written reports in addition to oral reports at monthly meetings.

  1. Presentation: Pits, Politics, and People: Understanding the Willamette Valley’s Aggregate Mining Industry and the Role of Enhancement Reclamation in the West.

Libby Morrison, an Environmental Specialist with the Wildish Company, gave a presentation on aggregate mining reclamation in the West, specifically the Willamette Valley, and factors that influence the industry. Ms. Morrison completed two graduate degrees at Oregon State University, and the presentation is a combination of her research. The presentation will be available on the MWC website.


Maryanne Reiter asked about the difference between reclamation and restoration of gravel mines. Ms. Morrison responded that each state is different, and Oregon law states that mines established after 1972 must have an approved reclamation plan. Basic reclamation requirements include 3:1 slope and re-seeding plan. Sites predating 1972 are exempt (grandfather clause). Ms. Reiter asked if there are local sites that predate 1972. Ms. Morrison responded that yes, there are several included the Springfield Quarry south of downtown Springfield.


Ms. Dietz asked about the fill source for reclamation projects. Ms. Morrison stated that sources vary from site to site, but all fill must follow clean fill rules and that DEQ must approve fill material. Demolition material is a frequently used source material.


Mr. Perkins asked about the future supply of locally sourced gravel. Ms. Morrison responded that the next 50 years look good. After that time, supply may be limited. In that case, pits have to dig lower and crush material. This process generally yields a lower quality material. Additionally, residential expansion results in structures built on top of gravel resources.


Mr. Morgenstern asked about recycling demolition material. Ms. Morrison stated that asphalt can be recycled, but other materials are more difficult to recycle as aggregate.


Mr. Burwell asked about restoration plans for the hardened banks at operations near Armitage Park on Lower McKenzie. Ms. Morrison stated that it is not in the current long-term plan, but maybe an option in the future. Mr. Burwell asked how long mining is expected continue at the current site downstream of Armitage Park. Ms. Morrison stated that it could be decades. 


Meeting adjourned at 6:45 pm


Next meeting will be the SUB, Springfield, Thursday, January 11, 2018.