A juvenile coho salmon, which is a species being aided by this project. Credit: Roger Tabor/USFWS

Project Name:
Thompson Creek Restoration

Applegate, Ore.

Key Activities:

  • Planting 8,800 trees across 22 acres
  • Reforesting a riparian ecosystem
  • Restoring wildlife habitat

Project Description:
American Forests and the Applegate Partnership & Watershed Council are partnering with local landowners to reforest 22 acres of land along Oregon’s Thompson Creek and in surrounding areas with 8,800 trees to restore riparian health.

Why This Project:
Oregon’s Thompson Creek houses a variety of aquatic species, including the threatened coho salmon. While coho salmon and other species like summer steelhead salmon use portions of the creek, a 2012 survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revealed that portions of the creek were unsuitable habitat for summer and winter rearing and spawning. In addition, 55 percent of the Thompson Creek watershed has been identified as habitat for the threatened northern spotted owl.

This project’s trees are providing needed shade, water filtration and streambank stabilization to help restore health to 1.8 miles around Thompson Creek and increase wildlife habitat.

Why Northern Spotted Owl:
In 1990, the northern spotted owl became threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Logging practices and intense wildfire activity in the last century led to the destruction of California, Washington and Oregon old-growth forests where the owl nests. Over the last two decades, the northern spotted owl has often found itself in the middle of political battles between conservationists, the timber industry and other concerned parties.

Last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a new rule as part of a comprehensive recovery plan for the species that tried to strike a balance between the various factions that will hopefully lead to a recovery for the species. American Forests has been supporting the northern spotted owl — through habitat restoration and policy work, like submitting comments on proposed rules — for a number of years.

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