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Stewardship of State Parks Lands - Berkley
 

Stewardship of State Parks Lands - Berkley

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  • Mission – multi-pronged, five focus areas, broad mission. We’re not just doing natural resource work, but have programs and staff focused on all 5 of these focus areas.
  • OPRD properties statewide include over 102,000 acres at about 360 sites, 9800 acres of which are located on the Willamette including the Coast and Middle Forks and Multnomah Channel, at over 100 sites. That means that about 10% of our overall acreage is located on the Willamette, but spread over 28% of our site locations, as the Willamette properties tend to be small and scattered. That creates a challenge in terms of managing all those scattered parcels, and even obtaining access to them in some cases.
  • This is the statewide view of OPRD properties
  • And this is the subset along the Willamette main-stem. For the purpose of being able to see the sites, they are made to appear larger in this map than they actually are.
  • So I wanted to talk a little bit about our stewardship approach in the current state of our stewardship program, which has undergone significant growth in the past few years.Our stewardship program includes 16 staff for the entire state, some of whom work closely with park managers and park rangers stationed at the parks. 4 of these 16 positions were created together 4 years ago,including mine, to increase our stewardship capacity and become more regionally focused. This represents a 25% increase in capacity for our stewardship program, and a doubling of capacity for restoration focused work (4 staff focused on this before, now 8 statewide).In terms of funding, we have modest stewardship funds that can be used for restoration work each biennium, the primary components of which are funds from the Salmon Plate program, our property leases (such as agricultural leases), and revenues from timber harvests. These funds are typically used as match for outside funding raised by our project partners. These funds are instrumental to our being able to support, to some degree, large scale restoration work at these sites. These funds are also the source of long term stewardship dollars to some degree. For example, we have partnerships where we provide match for implementation and maintenance, but the bulk of the funds come from outside sources. After anywhere from 3-7 years the project is then ours to maintain, and we use our stewardship funds to do so. Recognizing the at times lengthy period of maintenance required to maintain projects has been a challenge and is something we are improving on. We are doing a better job budgeting for that now.
  • A couple of broad strategies we use for stewarding our natural resources, both protecting them and enhancing them…
  • First, partnerships. Collaborating with partners such as watershed councils, SWCDs, neighbors, and others is in my mind the single most important way we have been able to bring successful restoration projects to these main-stem Willamette sites. It is also a major reason we have significantly increased the pace and scale of restoration work on our Willamette sites.
  • Our poster for this conference lists all the restoration projects recently completed, underway, and in development for the next 2 biennia at these main-stem sites, and the theme for most is having a key partner to assist with project design, fundraising and implementation.Some of our restoration work we do solely with OPRD funds, but the larger projects are done with partners. The poster also shows how the pace of our restoration activity is increasing primarily because of an emphasis on forming partnerships, our increased capacity to foster these partnerships and see them through, and key funding programs such as Willamette SIP, BPA funds (Columbia) and OWEB. The poster does not include all of our projects because they wouldn’t fit.
  • Our next strategy for natural resource stewardship is that review all development projects proposed within the park system that have ground or vegetation disturbance or potential impacts to T&E species, wetlands, waterways, or forest resources internally, and any potential impacts must be avoided or otherwise addressed, and approved by stewardship program staff, prior to funding being released. A database driven system, and it reallyencourages cross-collaboration amongst park staff, our engineers, planners, and stewardship program staff to protect natural resources.
  • Third, Integrated Pest Management Plans are required through agency policy to be in place for each park. Also, early detection and rapid response to new invasive pests is an important part of the work we do as well. These are both areas that we need to improve our overall performance on, and an active focus area of my workplan.
  • Finally, we are striving to make our planning efforts more prescriptive when it comes to restoration needs, making our large planning documents (master plans) more useful for park staff and stewardship staff. We are also completing more site-specific and in-depth natural resource management plans for some of our parks.
  • When I started working in the valley, Not long ago, I would have said that this was one of the top challenges in restoring these main-stem sites, but I’m venturing to tentatively cross this one out with a dashed line, not a solid line, since there has been so much movement toward working on focusing on the main-stem in recent years.
  • Getting a broad picture of invasive species distribution is very difficult when you manage many scattered small sites surrounded in many cases by private landowners. As we all know, patchwork management of invasive species does not yield very good results. In order to be effective and know where we should prioritize our limited resources for control work, we need to both know what the big picture of weed distribution is, and have control take place across property boundaries.
  • Currently the reach between Albany and Corvallis is being surveyed, and there is a poster about this in the lobby, and this representsis a huge step in the right direction, so I ventured to put a hashed line through this. There is control work remaining to be done, and more survey work to be done elsewhere along the river.
  • At a basic level, these sites are sites are currently managed primarily for their natural resource values, they do not see a lot of visitation andtherefore do not generate revenue for the department or much attention by the general public. Statewide our properties see visitation of 40 million visitors annually, with only a tiny fraction of that visitation on our main-stem Willamette sites. Because the public expects OPRD to invest in the sites they use, that puts many of these sites at a disadvantage when it come to internal funding allocations.Another issue is that lottery revenues fluctuate, causing uncertainly for OPRD funding levels, and for other agencies that utilize lottery funds, such as OWEB. This all makes for a rocky and insufficient finding picture for both basic stewardship and the more elaborate restoration projects. We continue to expand our reach to more and more partners to fill in these gaps.But that means if all our outside support and partners walked away tomorrow, we would have nowhere near enough funding internally to maintain the work that has been done. Luckily that is not likely to happen, but it does mean we have to be careful how many projects we take on at once and stagger them in time so that our limited stewardship funds are not all drained at once.
  • I’ve talked a lot about partnerships, but we have found thatnot all parts of the main-stem have strong partners available to work with. We have a hard time finding stable, capable partners between Salem and Oregon City, for example, meaning that larger restoration projects in those areas sit on the back burner, or must be phased to reduce annual costs. I think our goal should be to have strong watershed councils (or other capable organizations) in place in every part of the state, certainly every part of the Willamette. It would be instructive to perform a GAP analysis of active organizations and see where new organizations could be fostered and supported.
  • Funding for upland restoration from our internal funds and from external grantors is very limited. Upland work seems to take a backseat to salmon-focused projects in the state, at least within the set of funders and partners I work with. I would like to see a broadening of funding prioritization that includes uplands, with a multi-species focus, as well as more clarity on upland habitat restoration needs on a spatial scale.
  • We are seeing a tightening of regulations from the federal government for permitting work near streams on lands managed for natural resources, when there seems to be much less regulations of herbicide use on agricultural or urban lands, and this is in part driven by labeling. While we strive to only use herbicides when necessary, as defined by our Integrated Pest Management plans, some communities are very opposed to any herbicide use, and being that we manage public land we must address those concerns and do our best. This can affect the ultimate success or failure (and certainly the cost) to do restoration and basic weed control.At the same time we have not until very recently had many certified public pesticide applicators amongst park staff, but we now have one or more for each of our management units and are construing our training program through our Invasive Species Committee.
  • Finally we were asked to highlight research or knowledge needs, and these are areas that I find I have the most uncertainty in my work. These are also things that can affect how we should be designing restoration projects.
  • Here is my contact info, I also work in the Gorge state parks. thank you.

Stewardship of State Parks Lands - Berkley Stewardship of State Parks Lands - Berkley Presentation Transcript

  • Mission To provide and protect outstanding OregonParks and natural, scenic, cultural, historic andRecreation recreational sites for the enjoyment andDepartment education of present and future generations.
  • Mission To provide and protect outstanding OregonParks and natural, scenic, cultural, historic andRecreation recreational sites for the enjoyment andDepartment education of present and future generations. Statewide Willamette ~102,000 acres ~9,800 acres(10%) ~360 sites ~100 sites (28%)
  • Stewardship Program • Staff and Funding OregonParks andRecreationDepartment
  • Stewardship Program • Staff and Funding OregonParks and • Strategies for natural resourceRecreation stewardshipDepartment
  • Stewardship Program • Staff and Funding OregonParks and • Strategies for natural resourceRecreation stewardshipDepartment – Partnerships!!!
  • Stewardship Program • Staff and Funding OregonParks and • Strategies for natural resourceRecreation stewardshipDepartment – Partnerships!!!
  • Stewardship Program • Staff and Funding OregonParks and • Strategies for natural resourceRecreation stewardshipDepartment – Partnerships!!! – Internal development review
  • Stewardship Program • Staff and Funding OregonParks and • Strategies for natural resourceRecreation stewardshipDepartment – Partnerships!!! – Internal development review – IPM Plans & EDRR
  • Stewardship Program • Staff and Funding OregonParks and • Strategies for natural resourceRecreation stewardshipDepartment – Partnerships!!! – Internal development review – IPM Plans & EDRR – Prescriptive planning
  • Challenges and Solutions OregonParks andRecreationDepartment
  • Challenges and Solutions • Lack of main-stem focus OregonParks andRecreationDepartment
  • Challenges and Solutions • Lack of main-stem focus OregonParks andRecreationDepartment
  • Challenges and Solutions • Lack of main-stem focus OregonParks and • Need for large acreage weed surveysRecreationDepartment
  • Challenges and Solutions • Lack of main-stem focus OregonParks and • Need for large acreage weed surveysRecreationDepartment
  • Challenges and Solutions • Lack of main-stem focus OregonParks and • Need for large acreage weed surveysRecreationDepartment • Funding and budget issues
  • Challenges and Solutions • Lack of main-stem focus OregonParks and • Need for large acreage weed surveysRecreationDepartment • Funding and budget issues • Lack of partners in some areas
  • Challenges and Solutions • Lack of main-stem focus OregonParks and • Need for large acreage weed surveysRecreationDepartment • Funding and budget issues • Lack of partners in some areas • Upland restoration
  • Challenges and Solutions • Lack of main-stem focus OregonParks and • Need for large acreage weed surveysRecreationDepartment • Funding and budget issues • Lack of partners in some areas • Upland restoration • Herbicide issues
  • Working with Uncertainty • Dam operations OregonParks and – Flow, timing, gravel supplyRecreationDepartment • Climate change – Changes in flow, vegetation communities, species distributions • Future invasive species – Emerald ash borer, quagga and zebra mussels
  • OregonParks and Andrea BerkleyRecreation andrea.berkley@state.or.usDepartment 503-872-5377 Natural Resource Specialist Columbia Gorge and Willamette Valley State Parks