November 2016 Council Meeting Minutes

McKenzie Watershed Council
McKenzie Fire & Rescue
Leaburg, Oregon

PRESENT: Council Partners: Ralph Perkins facilitator (Upper Willamette SWCD), Dave Kretzing (Resident Partner), Craig Patterson (Resident Partner), Carol Ach (Resident Partner), Randy Hledik (Wildish), Bob Bumstead (McKenzie Flyfishers), Nancy Toth as alternate for Karl Morgenstern (EWEB), Dana Burwell as alternate for Steve Mealey (McKenzie River Guides Association), Chad Helms (USACE), Rod Fosback (NW Steelheaders Association), Daniel Dietz (McKenzie River Trust), Brian Brazil (International Paper), Mark Shulze (HJ Andrews), Steve Raymen (Resident Partner), Andy McWilliams (Resident Partner), Sue Zeni (Resident Partner), Jeff Ziller (ODF&W) Staff: Larry Six, Justin Demeter, Jennifer Weber, Jared Weybright, Melanie Giangreco Visitors: Michele Miranda (MWMC), Sharon Olson (MWMC), Priscilla Woolverton (Oregon DEQ), Charles Tannenbaum (Clearwater Coalition)

PROXIES: Ralph Perkins for Wade Stampe, Arlene Dietz, and Kurt Cox; Sue Zeni for Maryanne Reiter

ABSENT: Diane Albino (Mohawk Watershed Partnership), Terry Baker (McKenzie River Ranger District), George Brown (Eugene City Council), Mike McDowell (Resident Partner), Keir Miller (Lane County), Dave Ralston (City of Springfield), Bill O’Sullivan (BLM)

  1. Introductions and Approval of Agenda
    Ralph Perkins, Facilitator
    Action Requested: Approval of agenda.

Agenda approved- all showing consensus level 3.

  1. General Public Comment Session

No comments from public.

  1. Approval of October 2016 Minutes

Call for consensus on approving the October 2016 Council Meeting Minutes.

In budget section, it should say “Mr. McWilliams” instead of “Mr. McDowell,” regarding funding from McKenzie Masters.

Minutes approved as amended, all showing consensus level 3.

  1. Partner Announcements

Mr. Burwell provided an update on the McKenzie River Guides’ life jacket program. They lost about 15, but more people are bringing their own. Andy McWilliams and McKenzie Masters have been helping, and the fire department has been helping with distributing the jackets. Every store and lodge that allows them will have them, except at Camp Creek due to too many not being returned. Life jackets were borrowed 369 times throughout the year.

Mr. Schulze said that the newsletter for HJ Andrews was recently sent out. This is a big time for stream ecology research that may be of interest to the Council. New research was published on carbon budgeting, and citizen science program has been monitoring macroinvertebrates. Also finished a survey recently on trout and giant salamander.

Mr. Patterson said he saw OWEB’s announcements of its successful grants and that he did not see MWC listed. Mr. Six responded that one application was submitted during that cycle, but was not successful. Four were submitted for the next cycle.

Mr. Fosback reported that there are about 15,000 smolts in the pond and he is glad to have this many after damage last year.

Ms. Toth shared that there was a homeless camp clean up yesterday with IP, Willamalane, and EWEB. Cleanups are continuing to move forward. Also had emergency response drill- EWEB with Eugene Hazmat, McKenzie Fire and Rescue, USACE, SUB, etc. The drill was held on Nature Conservancy property.

Mr. Helms reported that Cougar is shut down for the winter. 373 adult chinook came back, 300 were unmarked (naturally produced). Trout were transported. Fall Creek has been drawn down and juvenile salmon transport is happening.

Mr. Ziller shared that in the past ODFW has put salmon up above Carmen Smith, providing forage for bull trout. With re-licensing and new facilities proposed, this will give salmon that will want to go upstream with trap and haul facility the ability to go above the dam. Because of water being released at Trail Bridge, salmon went down to the spawning channel, so this year, ODFW used an alternate approach. An egg injector with a pump creates pocket in gravel that you feed salmon eggs into- about 30,000 eggs. Cleaning out this spot for the eggs gives an appreciation for how tough salmon are that they can move the gravel. Incubator trays were used and put in side creeks. About 140,000 eggs were placed near Trail Bridge and the different techniques will be evaluated. Also ended up with 20 pairs of salmon that were released into the Smith River and they produced 8 or 9 redds. Juveniles are reared in reservoirs, then go over the spillway on the way downstream.

Mr. Bumstead responded that if FERC grants the license for Carmen Smith, the spillway will be the method for smolts to get out. Holding tank and transport system will be used. McKenzie Flyfisher board has been talking about this and have signed onto the agreement for Carmen Smith relicensing.

Mr. Perkins shared that someone noticed the vacant position for UWSWCD, so there were two write-in candidates for same position. Tuesday was the UWSWCD board meeting and more people showed up interested in being involved.

  1. Staff Reports

Mr. Weybright shared that four grants were submitted during the last OWEB cycle, and that the Council is partnering on submitting another grant. The grant proposals submitted to OWEB are as follows:

  • Finishing up Deer Creek project due to funding shortfall last summer. Funding would complete the last phase of the project. 5-6 trees were tipped with existing funding, but $23,000 would finish the project. Majority would go to contractors, and about $8,000 to MWC. Timeline would be payment and implementation in 2017. Would partner with Forest Service on this project.
  • Resubmittal for PWP riparian work at two sites. Primary site is MRT site. Responded to criticism from review team and brought match from EWEB and Forest Service. This project would take place over a six year period with the bulk of the work taking place at the beginning, followed by a maintenance period.
  • Partner with RCD, EWEB, and UWSWCD to fund implementation of the PWP program in 2017. Funding would allow for surveys and work with partners. This would happen after PWP goes public in spring of 2017. Project is matched by $25,000 from EWEB, plus in kind staffing. Would bring about $22,000 to Council over a year period.
  • Monitoring proposal for spotted frogs in Mink Lake basin with ODFW and Forest Service. Follows up on long term population data. Beaver moved into one site, so project is looking at impacts of beavers on spotted frogs, as one site is now inundated and the other is not. This would be a four year field study, then an additional year to write the results. ODFW would be doing simultaneous fish surveys. It is a significant ask ($170,000) mostly for funding field crews. The Council is mostly doing grant management and outreach, and logistical support so about $20,000 would go to the Council itself.

Mr. Patterson asked about the macroinvertebrate study. Mr. Weybright responded that that was a citizen science data collection program on the Mohawk and 8 sites on McKenzie each year. Funding went away around 2004. Nothing has been done since the initial analysis, but the data is available.

  • Other grant (not OWEB), would be back up funding for finishing the Deer Creek project. This funding is available through the Western Native Trout Initiative. There would be more flexibility in the Deer Creek project budget if both grants are received.

Applications were due last week. Online process made things a lot easier.

At Deer Creek, completed recent phase of tree tipping near the confluence, so work there is wrapped up for the year. Planning for South Fork is starting and the hope is to get that project off the ground soon. Work continues with PWP.

Mr. Perkins asked about heavy rains last week and if that affected the Deer Creek project. Mr. Weybright responded that it delayed work and fines were flushed out, so there was a pulse of sediment, but things cleared up well. He encouraged people to go up and take a look and says that the site seems to be responding well.

Ms. Weber reported on the outreach grant application related to education programs. As mentioned at retreat, EPA funding was approved. Have relabeled Education Program as “Watershed Action Teams for Education, Restoration, and Stewardship” (WATERS program). EPA grant was for a 2 year period and was used as match for the OWEB application. The program works with 27 middle and high schools between McKenzie and Coast Fork. 16 teams with MWC, 8 teams from CFWC. Additional funds for travel, and the rest is staff time. Program goal is a scalable approach to field based education. Plan is to take projects with Springfield Schools and expand the model to other schools. 18 field or lab sessions over 2 year period. There will be a student led conference at the end of the school year on the data collected. Will do work with the students in lab with GIS and infographic maps. Will present findings at conference each year.

Submitting more collaborative grants, at the suggestion of OWEB.

Ms. Weber is also working on maps and project applications and is continuing to work with Nauresecaping landowners.

Mr. Demeter has been meeting with middle and high school teams. For Salmon Watch there are nine volunteer spots left for the remainder of the season. Let Mr. Demeter know if you are interested. Nov. 29th will be the fundraiser at Plank Town Brewing.

Salmon Watch will also work with some of the school teams. Will have high school students come out and teach middle school teams. Volunteers will get a t-shirt.

Mr. Patterson asked question about water quality and which parameters being tested.

Mr. Bumstead said the program has been great, there have been good groups of students, and he thanked Mr. Demeter for his work this year.

Mr. Demeter thanked everyone for volunteering.

Ms. Giangreco said to keep an eye out for a flyer for the Salmon Watch Fundraiser and requested that Council Members post the flyer and send it out to their networks.


  1. Pharmaceutical Sampling in the McKenzie

Presenters: Priscilla Woolverton (Statewide Toxics Monitoring for Oregon DEQ), Nancy Toth (EWEB, Pharmaceutical Monitoring), Michelle Miranda (City of Eugene Wastewater- MWMC Monitoring)

Ms. Woolverton presented first. She works for the TMDL Program at DEQ, and is filling in for toxics monitoring for this presentation.

The goal is monitoring and interpreting the occurrence and levels of toxic pollutants in water, animals, and sediments. Metals, combustion byproducts, consumer product constituents, legacy pesticides, current use pesticides, plasticizers (phthalates), etc. are monitored.

Consumer product constituents- do not have water quality standards for this group, except for phthalates.

Showed map of ambient toxic monitoring. 500 different analytes at these locations on a basin location approach. Gives idea of what is out there across the state.

2014 sampling from toxics monitoring was specific to drinking water sources.

Ambient sampling occurred with a basin rotation and a focus on sampling in 1-2 basins each year. In 2008-2010 sampled 20 sites in Willamette basin, 3 times over 2 years (6 times total for each site) and all were analyzed for over 500 compounds, 8 of which are in consumer product constituent category. In 2017 will start over with the Willamette basin, so will have newer data in the next 2 years. 10 of 20 monitoring sites are in upper Willamette. Coburg Road monitoring site is the one in Main Stem Willamette. Maps were shown of the number of unique chemical compounds that are on the toxics list.

Water samples analyzed 28 compounds including pharmaceuticals (including hormones). One compound was detected at 31% of sites. Sulfamethoxazole (antibiotic) was most the most common.

Diethyl phthalate, estrogen, and one other medication were most common chemicals found.

Only detected one at Coburg site (diethyl phthalate). Most common statewide is antibiotic.

Drinking water protection program has funding to test about 17% of drinking surface water intakes. Fairly small sampling effort, but that is what funding is available. Still adding sites, plus sampling sites that were sampled before. If drinking water provider, can request to be part of DEQ program, and also use drinking water source information to find potential high risk locations to test.

35 sites tested every other year. 26 of those analyzed for pharmaceuticals and hormones. 70% had hormone detection, 5% had pharmaceutical detection.

If more information would be useful, Laurie Pillsbury from Hillsboro Station (DEQ) can assist.

Mr. Ziller asked about sampling in fish and how that ties in.

Fish tissue samples taken from edible portions of fish, mostly looking at metals. There is currently no testing on fish for consumer product constituents. Does work show consumer products showing up in fish? Colorado (Boulder) did find products in fish and impact on aquatic species. Parts per billion (small amount), so even a small amount seems to be impacting aquatic species, though human health impacts are unknown.

Mr. Patterson asked about what the chemicals degrade into. Some of the analytes tested are degradation products.

Mr. Patterson also asked if there is a list of what is most toxic and which of the compounds bioaccumulate. This would be a good question for Laurie Pillsbury.

Chuck Tannenbaum asked about sulfamethoxazole- why are they finding so much of it, does it have to do with degradation rates? It is used for treating UTIs- so it will be excreted.

Can consumer products be filtered out? Ms. Toth will talk about this more. Different people excrete out different amounts of what they take in.

Ms. Toth spoke about what EWEB is doing with pharmaceutical monitoring.

Drinking water systems not typically treated or monitored for these compounds. There is not a lot of regulation and even if compounds are detected, limits are not set. Source Protection Program Goal is to balance use and water quality.

Threats are from development, and in particular from septic system contamination.

EWEB does monitoring: baseline several times per year, storm event sampling, passive sampling (accumulation over longer amount of time, usually about 30 days), pesticide monitoring, algal blooms, and special projects such as pharmaceuticals.

They are doing pharmaceutical monitoring, even though it is not required. Monitoring is very expensive, sometimes cost prohibitive to do more.

More study is needed on the impact of low levels of pharmaceuticals in water.

Pharmaceuticals degrading into other substances not studied well enough either.

Study on Clackamas River done by USGS looked at different categories of contaminants- showed that care products were not being filtered out, though some were being removed by treatment technology.

Some limited monitoring done by EWEB. Support drug take back program, and septic system assistance program (prevention side).

Found caffeine, camphor, estrone, dehydronifedipine (metabolite of nifedipine), antibiotics, etc.

Drinking watersheds- adding additional sources to protection program, and monitoring has just begun.

Finding giardia? Not in this round of sampling. This is different kind of monitoring, this is done at the treatment plant.

Treatment options- can add activated carbon, removes more chemicals, ozonation, membrane filtration (nanofiltration, reverse osmosis) tends to be best treatment for these chemicals. Not all respond same way, so no catch all for treating. Also, membrane filtration is very expensive.

What can we do? Prevention is the best option at this point to keep contaminants out of the water.

Ms. Zeni asked about septic tanks and how these impact contamination. The ones closest to water are the most problematic (in floodplain) but impacts vary.

Ms. Miranda of MWMC reported on wastewater treatment plant services for Eugene/Springfield and other parts of Lane County. It is a partnership of 3 municipalities. Commission is citizens and elected officials. 30 million gallons are treated per day and a population of 125,000 is served.

In 2007, Oregon Legislature passed SB 737, effluent screened for 117 Priority Persistent Pollutants. (Pesticides, flame retardants, personal care products, pharmaceuticals.)

Were prioritized based on known harm and bioaccumulation.

Need to develop a toxic reduction plan if detected in concentration above “initiation levels.”

2010 and 2011 sampling showed 2 above these levels- cholesterol and coprostantol- natural byproducts of human and animal digestions. All plants through Oregon found these in sufficient concentrations to need a plan.

Looking at such small concentrations that need to use very clean sampling techniques.

Also found codeine, antihistamine, antidepressants, antibiotics, DEET, though all in low enough levels that management plan was not required.

Testing done in ng (very small quantities), but what does this mean?

Still do not know full impacts to aquatic systems.

DEQ did testing on organics, metals were done in house.

Also do not know full life cycle analysis. There is known information on human health, but do not know much on aquatic life.

Pollution prevention makes sense economically and environmentally. As result, using drug take back boxes installed around area in collaboration with different agencies.

7 million controlled substance prescriptions written in Oregon for a population of 4 million.

Also intentional misuse/abuse, accidental drug overdose, sharing medicines, other public health reasons to have take-back boxes.

Environmental perspective- sometimes no method developed, concern about chronic exposure and synergistic effects (how do chemicals interact together).

Most plants do not treat for pharmaceuticals, so source control is most important. Leachate from landfills means contaminants still ends up in the water.

Drug take back started at police departments and have been available for more than 10 years.

In 2010 Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act. Final rule was issued by DEA in 2014.

Nationwide efforts for pharmaceutical industry to take responsibility for some of cost.

DEA hosts 2 collection events/year- 16 tons for NW states (4 tons from OR).

Oregon Senate Bill 598- failed, so voluntary program implemented instead.

San Francisco was the first to pass ordinance for pharmaceutical companies to pay for take back programs.

Walgreens installed boxes in 24 hour stores, but there are none in Lane County. Some pharmacies will take back. Continued partnerships for these take back programs. Some restrictions: Schedule 1 drugs, needles, syringes, etc. are not accepted. See for more information.

Mr. Patterson asked where the list is of chemicals and how to compare the threat of pharmaceuticals with the penta plume, pesticides from agriculture/timber, etc. Group was convened that did comprehensive risk assessment to develop the list based on risk analysis. Some information is available on the DEQ website. Laurie Pillsbury is the best contact. Also based on what DEQ lab has capacity to test for. So there may be things that would be of interest for testing, but staff or equipment for tests are not available. Huge number of chemicals in consumer product realm, looking into ones that are of most interest and can be tested.

Mr. Fosback asked about leachate- how much is coming out of Alton Baker Park (where landfill use to be) vs. septic tanks? Not sure. Do work in sewer system there have never detected anything with gas meters. Would need to be able to isolate impacts from that specific area. Storm water program does have monitoring program and has data from up and downstream of that area.

Mr. Patterson asked about golf course use of pesticides and fertilizers and if these are monitored. These are monitored through storm water monitoring, rather than looking at specific courses.

Also have a lot of interaction with businesses and landowners on best practices for lawn care and other chemical use.

  1. Alternates for Resident Partners
    Currently have alternates for organizations and agencies, not resident partners.

Idea was that agency/interest groups had designated constituencies, but resident partners do not.

If alternates are added, need to follow the same process of having designated alternates who are keeping up so continuity is maintained.

Clarified that this is different from proxy.

Ms. Ach says she does not see why they need to be fully versed.

How does proxy vote not take care of this?

Ms. Ach says resident partners are treated as having different standing.

Mr. Ziller said MWC is more exclusive, less robust in community, having alternates could be way of having more people involved.

Mr. Perkins said his alternate is not well versed, so would need to be briefed ahead of time. Usually uses proxy vote instead and that seems more efficient and fair to the Council.

Mr. McWilliams says it seems like we can do both: proxy and alternate. Alternate could abstain from voting and have proxy vote instead.

Mr. Bumstead asks how process will work.

Mr. Fosback says alternates should be on mailing list and identified, so they are receiving information.

Mr. Ziller asks how alternates expired.

  1. Mealey’s stance (represented by alternate Dana Burwell) is that organizations are representing organization rather than their individual stance. Individuals (resident partners) are representing themselves.

Mr. Patterson said this could work well with having someone from downriver be his alternate since he is upriver.

Ms. Ach responded to Mr. Burwell that many resident partners previously represented industry/agency, so not going to have purity. Just trying to get equal rights.

Mr. Perkins says need to agree/disagree and if that happens need to change Charter. What is the process for this?

Mr. Six says language can be proposed and decided on now, or next meeting.

Mr. Hledik says he does not see a downside of residents having alternates, but does think that they need to be designated. Alternate may have better idea of how to bring info back to primary member.

Mr. Burwell (representing Mr. Mealey), says he will not block, but agrees that alternates need to be designated.

Call for consensus that resident partners can designate alternates, alternates needs to be designated on mailing list. All showing consensus level 3, with Mr. Burwell showing 3.5 on behalf of Steve Mealey.

  1. Craig Patterson Email

Mr. Patterson gave an overview of his thoughts. He believes prioritization of threats is critical as threats evolve. If we do not prioritize, do not know where to focus efforts. Sees it in terms of longevity of threats, and element of toxicity such as what is under the old Weyerhaeuser mill, also how historically we have gotten to this point with respect to agriculture, forestry, etc. How to prioritize and focus our efforts in this regard? Having these conversations in many different places because not finding prioritization. How do we know what to focus on and how do we learn from history if we do not know priorities?

Mr. Ziller asks if Mr. Patterson is looking for scoring of what could happen in the watershed.

Mr. Patterson says it should be a collaborative approach and how do we start asking these questions as Council and agencies and then how do we address this? Maybe can address top 2-3, but also work with others to address these issues.

Mr. Perkins asks how he perceives how we get this information to establish these priorities.

Mr. Paterson responded that length of threat is one thing and what are cumulative impacts of threats. Think of HJ Andrews Long Term Ecological studies. How do we put historical information with newer information to figure out these priorities? Not easy, but would be valuable in terms of effectiveness.

Mr. Ziller asks what is the target? Threats to river? Human health? Fish? Macroinvertebrates? Have threats analysis and recovery plan for salmon and steelhead.

Mr. Patterson says how do we create synthesis of threats? They are interrelated so how do we incorporate these studies to get the biggest bang for our restoration buck? With increasing threats, how do we prioritize so we can protect this resource?

Mr. Burwell says there have been multiple threat assessments, have to narrow down, otherwise cannot pull together all of that information. Talked about EWEB’s work with threat assessments.

Mr. Patterson asked if we are doing the best we can do.

Mr. Burwell says we need to focus on what we can manage and take care of.

Mr Patterson says Quartz Creek is priority.

Mr. Burwell agrees having worked for the logging company that damaged it, and later for the guides. Just need to narrow down what you are looking for in order to find an answer.

Mr. Bumstead asks if we should spend more time and money compiling threat assessments.

Mr. Patterson says relative to money spent on restoration, need to feel confident that restoration projects are addressing those threats and need to be confident in that. Some threats are bigger than others and not always dealing with bigger threats. Have not learned downside of industrial forestry and so it persists. Need to know that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Mr. Weybright responded that this is the theory behind PWP, and this is what the pharmaceutical presentation is talking about. Working on cooperative basis using programmatic approach. Restoration money is then protected through voluntary long term commitments with landowners. Technical team would deem most important sites.

Mr. Patterson says how do we get a handle on privatized profits and socialized liabilities?

Mr. Perkins says there is room for improvement on industrial forestry, but that is not the role of the council. May be better served getting in touch Board of Forestry.

Mr. Patterson says he already engaged at local and national level.

Mr. Perkins says he agrees Quartz Creek needs work, but Council does not have jurisdiction.

Mr. Patterson says data he got showed issues identified at Quartz Creek, can Council be in touch with Board of Forestry and ask them to impose these rules. Not saying take on Board of Forestry, but need to know threats and how to address them.

Mr. Bumstead says that this is not the purview of the group. Idea is to bring groups together, identify programs and fix them. These issues are more closely aligned with Cascadia Wildlands and Oregon Wild. This group’s role is not to lobby and appeal to government agencies.

Mr. McWilliams says we could look for restoration money for Quartz Creek, maybe more so than Deer Creek.

Mr. Bumstead says landowners need to be on board.

Mr. Perkins says we have had some good discussion and asks is there is an action that anyone wants to take.

Mr. Kretzing says Council should have Ms. Woolverton come back to talk about TMDL. Would be good to know status of DEQs TMDL.

No action proposed and no point of consensus reached.

  1. Executive Committee Appointments

Wade Stampe and Arlene Dietz’s terms are up, need to appoint people at December meeting. Is Ms. Dietz willing to re-up? Will need to ask her and Mr. Stampe both. If anyone else is interested in being nominated or want to nominate, bring names to meeting in December.

Meeting adjourned at 7:35.

Next meeting: Thursday, December 8, 2016, Weyerhauser, Springfield