May 2016 Council Meeting Minutes

McKenzie Watershed Council
Springfield, Oregon

May 12, 2016

PRESENT: Council Partners: Kurt Cox, facilitator (resident partner), Diane Albino (Mohawk Watershed Partnership), Craig Patterson (resident partner), Carol Ach (resident partner), Randy Hledik (Wildish), Bob Bumstead (McKenzie Flyfishers), Ralph Perkins (Upper Willamette Soil & Water Conservation District), Maryanne Reiter (Weyerhaeuser), Mike McDowell (resident partner), Arlene Dietz (Rice Farms), Daniel Dietz (McKenzie River Trust), Nate Day (McKenzie Schools), Steve Raymen (resident partner), George Brown (City of Eugene), Jeff Ziller (ODFW), Todd Miller (City of Springfield), Terry Baker (Forest Service), Mark Stephen (BLM), Dave Kretzing (resident partner).

STAFF: Justin Demeter, Larry Six, Jared Weybright, Melanie Giangreco.

VISITORS: Chuck Tannenbaum, Lauren Grand.

ABSENT: Steve Mealey, Andy McWilliams, Chad Helms, Rod Fosback, Mark Schulze.

PROXIES: Daniel Dietz for Keir Miller and Karl Morgenstern, Maryanne Reiter for Sue Zeni and Brian Brazil, Arlene Dietz for Wade Stampe.

  1. Introductions and Approval of Agenda
    Kurt Cox, Facilitator
    Action Requested: Approved agenda

Partners approved the agenda, showing consensus level 3.

  1. General Public Comment Session

Lauren Grand is the new OSU Extension Forester. The Extension Forestry program has started back up again in Lane County. There will be a generational planning workshop next weekend, and the Small Woodland Association’s Neighbor to Neighbor Tour will be in June.

  1. Approval of April 2016 Minutes

Mr. Bumstead called for consensus on approving the April, 2016 Council Meeting Minutes. All partners showed consensus level 3.

  1. Partner Announcements

Mr. Raymen just got back from New Zealand. He noted that all logging on national lands stopped 30 years ago, which has paid off.

Mr. Patterson reported that HJ Andrews Day will be in June. This is a great time to exchange information with researchers.

Ms. Ach said that the family farm stand is open in Leaburg.

Mr. Bumstead mentioned Family Fishing Day; Mr. Ziller will talk about it more.

Mr. Cox stated that the Community Charter School is under development. Kurt or Cliff Richardson may be in touch with the Council about this.

Mr. Ziller reported that about 10,000 spring Chinook have passed over Willamette falls this season to date. Passage conditions are good, but run size is poor compared to last year when about 30,000 fish had passed this time last year. Even in 2014, we had about that same number, but we had much colder water temperature which discourages passage. We are seeing more summer steelhead returning to Dexter, McKenzie and Leaburg. There is a problem at McKenzie Hatchery where salmon coming back can’t run the fish ladder. They are making repairs but we are still a few weeks out from having full flow back through the hatchery.

Mr. Baker shared that the McKenzie Ranger District has announced plans to address environmental health and safety concerns around Blue Pool. We are working with groups that use that area. Funds have been secured for a vault toilet at the trailhead, and we are looking at the possibility of a bike trail. We are working with search and rescue folks to let people know that they are in Linn County and that the appropriate search and rescue team responds. Prescribed burning has started up. One timber sale will be starting up soon.

  1. Staff Reports

Justin Demeter announced the September 17th Salmon Celebration which will likely be held at the McKenzie Hatchery. The Salmon Watch Steering Committee is looking for a new member to replace Ron Leonard. Next fundraiser date TBA at 16 tons. Field lessons for all the middle school teams are wrapping up. June 1st is Restoration Olympics to be held at BWCA. We are expecting to have four schools and nearly 100 students participate this year. High school teams are working on posters and reports documenting their work this past year on Soda Fork Creek and Lake Creek. Reports will be shared with partnering agencies, schools and others. The partnering UO instructor will be displaying the Soda Fork poster at the regional GIS conference in California. SPARC students have been clearing Scotch Broom along Deer Creek to help with invasive vegetation management requirements of the Deer Creek Project, and will be snorkeling tomorrow at Deer Creek. SPARC students will give a presentation at the June Council meeting in Leaburg. Justin partnered with 4J staff to present a watershed and macroinvertebrate lesson to 60 students at Buena Vista Elementary School in Eugene. Planning for a presentation to 22 foreign exchange students in collaboration with the UO in early July.

Jared Weybright reported that much of the last month has been spent working on the Deer Creek Project. Final design work with the USFS is ongoing. The MWC is working closely with EWEB to ensure that design and contract language adheres to safety restrictions along the Carmen –Smith Powerline located in the Deer Creek floodplain. Contracting development with the two contractors is also ongoing. If all goes well the Project will begin in early or mid-June, with a second phase planned for the fall. Jared also presented to the USFS RAC for additional funding for the second phase. Work with the VIP is progressing with finalization of several management plans, field survey reports and protocol revisions. Jared attended a tour of the MRT’s Finn Rock Reach property this past week. UO ELP projects on Deer Creek and Berggren are close to being completed for the year. UO ELP students will finish baseline monitoring of Deer Creek floodplain in May and provide a report in early June. Action Plan revisions have been on-going and will be detailed later in agenda.

  1. Consider Appointment of New Resident Partner

Action requested: Appoint resident partner

Dave Kretzing came to the Executive Committee meeting to brief members on his background and interests. The committee recommends that the council appoint him as a new resident partner.

Bob Bumstead recommended appointment of Mr. Kretzing. Council partners approved, all showing consensus level 3.

  1. Consider Support of Letter to ODFW on Forage Fish

Action requested: sign on to letter from multiple councils to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Executive Committee reviewed the letter at their recent meeting and recommends council support. Mr. Six gave a summary of the proposed letter which asks ODFW to adopt plans to protect currently unfished species of forage fish as a precautionary approach to management of marine resources. Conservation of forage fish is important because these fish form the base of the marine ecosystem. Key species of fish, including Willamette River spring Chinook salmon, rely on these fish as food. Examples of unfished forage species include saury, sand lance, smelt and certain species of squid.

Jeff Ziller summarized the flyer from ODFW on why a protection plan is going into place. The Federal plan has already been approved. The idea is to make state management consistent (inshore 3 miles consistent with 200 mile federal regulations).

Mr. McDowell expressed support.

Mr. Perkins asked if this would prevent fishing. Mr. Six replied that this would prevent fishing unless experimental fishing proved no damage to the marine ecosystem.

Mr. Ziller note that this sets up management for previously unmanaged species.

Ms. Dietz asked how this issue links to the mission of the MWC,. Mr. Ziller responded that salmon are dependent on this forage base. This would protect forage fish in Oregon waters.

Mr. Perkins expressed support, but asked if Washington is going to take similar action. The States of Washington and California are expected to act accordingly in their waters. For example, the states enacted a ban on krill harvest in 2003.

Mr. Hledik asked if there is any opposition to this proposal. Larry responded that the people that drafted the letter were not aware of any opposition.

Council Partners approved signing onto the letter, all showing consensus level 3.

  1. Action Plan Revisions
    Action requested: Adopt final plan

Mr. Six expressed hope that the council would approve the action plan at this meeting. Public comment has been incorporated. The comment period was extended to last Friday. Proposed language changes were distributed to the Council with track changes on the document.

The Council’s action plan also includes and is endorsed by many partner organizations. The document can be used by other sub-basin groups as a basis for prioritizing actions on the ground and as a tool for attracting funds from other organizations.

Mr. Patterson asked if staff could characterize public comments on the draft to help provide context. Mr. Six mentioned that Will Rutherford’s comments were the most extensive comments received- too extensive to summarize. Staff tried to respond directly to all comments and used track changes in the document that was sent so members could see exactly what was done. There also is a one-pager in the briefing materials that summarizes the major changes.

Mr. Patterson said that we need to prioritize the threats and document the biggest threats.

Mr. Six responded that Chapter 6 summarizes the major threats to key species addressed by the plan and provides references that go into more detail on these threats. Mr. Weybright said that chapter 6 is based on current documentation of these threats. A new subsection was added to this section that describes threats to groundwater.

Mr. Patterson stated that one of his major concerns is toxicity and longevity/accumulation of impacts, therefore he believes that prioritization is critical. My Weybright says that toxics are addressed in Chapter 6 and elsewhere in the plan describing efforts by EWEB, SUB and City of Springfield.

Mr. Bumstead felt that this has been a long discussion. He would appreciate discussion of specific needed changes rather than having a philosophical discussion.

Mr. Weybright went through the one-page summary of changes that were made that were sent out to council in the briefing materials.

Ms. Dietz recommended we include tables on goals and objectives (p. 50, 73, 78) in the executive summary to make it more complete. Mr. Patterson agreed with Ms. Dietz, and said because of this that prioritization can’t be skirted.

Staff replied that the plan documents how priority objectives and actions were developed.

Mr. Cox stated that this is a 10 year document with a broad approach, but allows for future changes.

Mr. Patterson said that if the plan doesn’t include prioritization, he won’t support it.

Mr. Six stated that the outcomes, goals, objectives and actions are the priority activities. These are the most important actions to implement in the next 10 years.

Mr. Raymen asked if maintenance of high quality water and toxics are addressed.

Mr. Weybright replied that toxics are being addressed by EWEB, SUB and others who have monitoring programs, plus other actions through the City of Springfield and SUB working with people to round up chemicals, pharmaceuticals, etc. These are the partners working on this.

Mr. Hledik mentioned that page 83 talks about water quality monitoring- this is how toxics are addressed. There are a lot of actions to be taken over next 10 years- reiterating that this is a broad scope, and this is the way to do a comprehensive planning project. We need to prioritize as we go. He supports the plan.

Ms. Dietz sought consensus for adding goal tables (p. 53, 73, 78) to the executive summary. Council Partners agreed- all showing consensus level 3.

Mr. Weybright went over map updates and new figures that were added and described terminology used.

Mr. Weybright commented that staff added more clarity regarding water quality, defining this. We added information about parameters for water quality and added a paragraph describing DSL lands (where they are, how plan would or would not address them). We do not propose to work on small DSL lands without looking at surrounding properties.

Staff intends to revise the spring chinook graph to provide information on both hatchery and wild numbers after 2004 and to label the y-axis.

Mr. Patterson mentioned a report that K. Morgenstern did in the mid-1990s which cited golf courses, agriculture and forestry as the main threats. Specifics in that regard would be useful. These activities need to be monitored.

Mr. Weybright stated that Mr. Morgenstern has reviewed and approved this section.

Mr. Baker noted that the MWC is not a regulatory body, and this plan is based on what we and partners do have authority over. This is to best achieve outlined goals and objectives. This is a common issue in lots of organizations- we do not have ability to regulate.

Mr. Patterson said that we need to know the issues and to what extent they are issues. We need to have information. Language from the 1992 study about chemical threats could be included.

Mr. Brown feel the plan reads fine the way it is.

Mr. Weybright said that staff will make changes based on comments from SUB, and will look at Karl’s document and add that as a citation if relevant.

Staff modified the description of forestry impact based on public comment. We added language about the proposed BLM Resource Management Plan and added a historical comment about changes in forest practices on the Willamette National Forest. Time references will be added.

Mr. Patterson stated that references from 1936 dilutes the statistics. Mr. Weybright clarified that the numbers were post WWII.

Staff will revise the lamprey distribution figure to change “Predicted,” to “Potential.”

Mr. Raymen wanted to include riparian degradation and forest (cutting) as main threats to northern red-legged frog.

Mr. Weybright reiterated that bull frogs are issues, and that predation is an issue.

Mr. Raymen noted that red-legged frogs are a surrogate species representing wetlands, but riparian zone degradation and forestry are still important threats.

Ms. Reiter- is there evidence for this?

Mr. Raymen- yes. This is well documented.

Staff said the Oregon Conservation strategy was cited and this is where the information came from.

Mr. Miller- does this have ramifications for action plan? Or, is this more of a resource to look at?

Mr. Raymen- this has larger implications for wider habitat conservation strategies.

Mr. Ziller- if information is germane then it should be added. Oregon Conservation Strategy- if there is specific information from this that you want to include, make sure to include citations and specific language that you want to include.

Staff may make additional changes based on additional information provided by Mr. Raymen, if there is a scientific reference to cite.

There was a public comment made on tying water quality to enhancement programs- monitoring and reporting back on trends. This is difficult based on the type of monitoring being done.

For the Quartz Creek- Middle McKenzie watershed, staff added language to include MRT’s recent purchase of Finn Rock Reach. We added some potential conservation/restoration actions to this section.

Ms. Dietz called for consensus with proposed changes from this evening including Mr. Raymen’s comments. All Partners showing level 3, except for a 5 (Mr. Patterson), and 2 (Mr. Ziller).


Meeting adjourned at 7:05.

Next meeting: June 9, 2016, McKenzie Fire & Rescue, Leaburg, 5:00 p.m., Film Presentation: “Upriver,” Jeremy Monroe, Freshwaters Illustrated