A potato farm on marginal bottomland floodplain until the Gotter family sold to Metro for conservation as a natural area in 1994, the Gotter Bottom, now Quamash Prairie, has become a regional example of diverse, resilient wet prairie and oak savanna habitats.
In collaboration with Metro and Tualatin Riverkeepers (TRK), Ash Creek:
- conducted extensive evaluation of site history, hydrology and site conditions
- developed a 2-phase plan to restore 122 acres of important Willamette Valley floodplain habitats: wet prairie, palustrine emergent wetlands, riparian forest, forested wetlands and oak savanna plant associations
- developed budgets and schedules, and with Metro and TRK, secured funding from public agency and private foundation partners, such as NRCS/SWCD, OWEB, DSL and NFF
- prepared site by removing all target noxious and non-native vegetationthrough carefully timed soil cultivation and targeted mowing and herbicide applications
- installed locally derived, site specific herbaceous and woody species based on reference site information generated by Ash Creek
- acquired and installed dozens of species from plugs and bare-root stock
- developed and installedsite specific seed mixes, with no-till drills and broadcast spread by hand and by air seeder
- provided post planting maintenance services, including mowing and herbicide application timed and tailored to specific site conditions and threats
- annually collected and analyzed plot data to create detailed site monitoring reports, which included maintenance and interplanting recommendations, detailed maps and plans
- collaborated and maintained communications with partners throughout the duration of the project
Since 2002, Ash Creek has collaborated with the US Forest Service and other federal, local and NGO partners to develop funding and management prescriptions for restoration of over 1,000 acres of critical fish and wildlife habitat at the western gateway of the National Scenic Area.
- Ash Creek has worked in cooperation with numerous partners to develop and manage restoration of over 900 acres of Columbia River floodplain habitats at the Sandy River Delta. Work by Ash Creek has involved interpreting and adapting the Sandy River Delta Plan, identifying specific action items to implement the plan, securing additional funding and implementing the work on the ground.
Ash Creek’s restoration work at the Sandy River Delta has restored hundreds of acres of forest cover as part of what is planned to become the largest contiguous floodplain hardwood forest in the lower Columbia Basin. Ash Creek has also developed significant areas of scrub, oak savanna, and prairie habitats. The site is attracting rare birds and wildlife, such as the yellow-billed cuckoo, and project work is re-initiating critical natural processes of understory regeneration, beaver activity and bank stabilization. Land management prescriptions developed by Ash Creek for application on this scale of restoration are being successfully applied elsewhere in the Gorge and in other parts of the region.
Once an intermittent stream confined to an incised ditch and surrounded by a noxious grass, the Englewood Park restoration project now supports American beaver and showcases the benefits of riparian restoration for beaver – increased water storage and year-round flows, stream connection to the floodplain and instream structure for native fish.