Restoration ideas for the Long Tom River,

Eugene, Oregon

This was my comprehensive project for my Bachelors of Landscape Architecture (similar to an undergrad thesis). It examined the health of a local river system on the West side of the Willamette River Basin, Oregon. The Long Tom River drains about 400 square miles of Coast Range mountains and flows into the Willamette River downstream of the town of Monroe (roughly 20 miles from Eugene). In the 1920's and 30's, the Army Corps of Engineers built Fern Ridge Dam, impounding the river in a Willamette River flood control project which created a number of reservoirs in the Cascades and Coast Range. The river was channelized from the lake downstream to the confluence. Many acres of wetlands around the lower river stem were drained to create farm fields.

The river is a system of contrasts. It's headwaters are clear and clean with cascades, riffles, pools and downed woody debris. They fall through a mixture of managed forest and upland pasture. The lower stem is straight and smooth, riprapped and dirty. Some local farmers fear for the health of their cattle, which drink from the stream.

The river also has a rich cultural heritage, which is mostly hidden. The Kalapooian, a local indian tribe that inhabited the valley, spent their summers along the banks of the lower Long Tom, collecting Camas and other indigenous food. In the winter, when the lowlands were wet, they would migrate upstream to drier ground. Several winter and summer sites have been found beside the river. Two of these ancient camps are seasonally inundated by Fern Ridge Reservoir's fluctuating water levels.

The thrust of this project has been to propose a series of restoration sites along the lower stem just downstream from the dam. The treatment of these sites varies according to the flood control needs of adjacent properties, recreational potential of trails, and historic Kalapooian sites.

Below I present 4 of the 6 sites:

A map which locates the restoration sites.
Site #3 -- pallet structures in-channel
Site #4 -- plunge pool
Site #5 -- minimum impact prescription
Site #5 -- channel widening

This page still under construction...check back soon

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