The Siuslaw Soil and Water Conservation District (Siuslaw SWCD) serves residents within the Siuslaw River Watershed and the surrounding Coastal Lakes Basins. Our mission is to encourage and promote the responsible stewardship of natural resources through the coordination and delivery of local, state and federal conservation programs, as well as through local natural resources education activities. Our programs are administered in full compliance with landowners’ property rights, and state and federal non-discrimination laws, and are based on voluntary participation and incentive based cooperation. Specifically we:
Provide information, education, and outreach.
Provide technical assistance to landowners and land managers, to develop and implement conservation plans on their property.
Provide an interface between agencies and landowners.
Collaborate with federal, state, and local government agencies and groups.
District Board Meetings are held on the first Monday of each month, at the District Office, from 6:00 pm on. Public attendance and participation is encouraged. For more information contact the District Office.
Stream Team members actively learn about their watershed through participation in on-the-ground research and restoration projects. They do water quality monitoring, measure stream flows, conduct biological assessments, and participate in restoration projects such as riparian plantings and rearing and releasing coho salmon. In addition, they educate their community about watershed and salmon issues by giving talks on their projects to community and school groups.
The success of this program is important for many reasons. The Siuslaw basin has always been an important watershed for anadromous fish populations. In the past 100 years, we have seen a decline in native salmon, including a 99% reduction in native coho populations. In the past 10 years, the basin and its people have undergone dramatic political, social and economic changes. This area will likely never see the return of the resource extraction dominated economy that provided jobs for student's parents and grandparents. The Stream Team project provides these children with the opportunity to learn about employment options available to them in the "new" natural resource economy. Most importantly, students learn about the watershed in which they live. The understanding and appreciation they gain gives them a sense of stewardship for this watershed, which will lead them to be involved in long-term protection and restoration efforts.
Description: Native to Eastern Asia, Japanese Knotweed is an upright, herbaceous perennial that commonly grow to heights over 10 feet. Stems are stout, hollow, and swollen at the joints. Leaves are usually 6-8 inches long and 3-5 inches wide, broad and oval in shape although coming to a point at the tip. When in bloom the tiny white flowers are arranged in attractive branched sprays, often beloved by pollinators. Knotweeds are considered noxious weeds by the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture and are a priority to eradicate.
Ecology: Japanese Knotweed and its similar subspecies (Bohemian and Himalayan) are a serious threat to our native riparian ecosystems. Since it starts growing earlier in the spring than most of our natives (and also grows faster) it easily outcompetes and rapidly forms densely thick monoculture stands that only support very limited food webs in comparison to our diverse native stream side assemblages. It primarily spreads vegetatively, so mowing and tilling are NOT control options. A single rhizome can result in an entire stand if given the chance. Once established it is very persistent and can take multiple years of intensive management to control.
Options: If you observe Knotweed on your property and would like to be part of the solution, there is help available. We perform a local inventory documenting all known stands within the district during late spring and early summer, with follow up treatment occurring in late August and September. If you are open to assistance, please contact Seth Mead, the Watershed Conservationist for the Siuslaw SWCD.
IMPORTANT: Please refrain from mowing, cutting, and/or transporting it, especially in areas adjacent to bodies of water. Disturbance also stresses the plants, resulting in less effective responses to treatment. Please do not discard of it in any river or stream, as it will only float downstream and re-propagate. This is of even greater importance to land owners within the estuary, as the tidal fluctuations can spread it both upstream and down.