Habitat sampling at Balboa, Fir Butte, Oxbow West, and Vinci
The West Eugene Wetlands (WEW) Project is a cooperative venture by the Bureau of Land Management, Eugene District, and others to protect and restore wetland ecosystems in the southern Willamette Valley of
The West Eugene Wetlands (WEW) Project is a cooperative venture by the Bureau of Land Management, Eugene District, and others to protect and restore wetland ecosystems in the southern Willamette Valley of Oregon. This 10 year Environmental Assessment (EA) schedule outlines targets for habitat conditions and provides guidance on the priority of work for maintenance, enhancement, and restoration projects. Within the EA, each West Eugene Wetland site will be monitored to meet four habitat management targets. In general, these habitat targets include the following:
(1) prevent woody vegetation encroachment
(2) prevent invasive plant spread
(3) prevent litter and thatch build up
(4) maintain existing levels of native plant species diversity
When monitoring indicates that these targets are not being met based on the established thresholds, management actions may be triggered.
In July 2009, five sites were sampled to estimate vegetation cover in the West Eugene Wetlands; Fir Butte, Oxbow West, Vinci, and Balboa. Each location contained one site and Balboa contained two sites.
Our data collected in 2009 indicated that the cover of invasive species, woody vegetation, and the litter layer exceeded the threshold values for management at every site. Although we did not document detrimental impacts on native forbs, it is likely that the litter is inhibiting their germination and establishment. However, this litter layer may also inhibit weed seed germination and establishment. Therefore, any management activities to remove litter should be followed by extensive weed control and seeding of native species. Finally, non-woody native species compose 50% relative cover only at one site, Oxbow West.