Grant to restore Basin watershed
Ducks Unlimited received a $789,563 federal grant to help restore t he Upper Klamath Basin watershed.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant will fund nine projects aimed at improving habitat and water quality. The goal is to benefit water quality in Upper Klamath Lake.
Mike Shannon, Klamath Falls, regional biologist for Ducks Unlimited, emphasized the program is a cooperative venture between federal and private groups.
“All of us got together and looked at wetland and water quality issues in the Basin,” he said. “None of it would go anywhere without the partnership aspect.”
Groups involved in the project include The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Klamath Watershed Council, Klamath Basin Ecosystem Foundation, and Klamath Basin Rangeland Trust.
“This grant recognizes Ducks Unlimited’s commitment to improve the Upper Klamath watershed,” said Tom Dwyer, DU’s director of conservation programs in Vancouver, Wash. “The Klamath River watershed is a critical area for migrating mallards, pintails and canvasbacks. We plan on continuing our work to improve the area for the benefit of waterfowl and people.”
Bevin Reid of the Seattle EPA office said there were 130 applications for the agency’s Targeted Watersheds grants. Only 16 programs were funded, including the Klamath Basin application.
Reid said the nine Klamath restoration and enhancement projects include the Williamson River delta wetlands restoration led by The Nature Conservancy, the Agency Lake-fringe wetlands restoration led by Klamath Basin Rangeland Trust, the C7 Ranch treatment wetland led by Ducks Unlimited, the Shady Pine treatment wetlands led by Ducks Unlimited, and Tule Smoke wetland restoration led by Ducks Unlimited.
Other projects funded
Other projects getting funding are the Harris Ranch riparian habitat management led by Klamath Basin Ecosystem Foundation, Sprague River riparian and wetland restoration led by Klamath Basin Rangeland Trust, Jackson Creek habitat connectivity and enhancement led by Klamath Basin Ecosystem Foundation, and Chiloquin Dam removal led by Klamath Watershed Council and the Bureau of Reclamation.
Shannon of Ducks Unlimited said the projects may only take a year to complete, but full benefits won’t be realized for four or five years. He said steps being taken address specific recommendations in the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Upper Klamath Lake Maximum Daily Load and Water Quality Plan.
“You look at the cumulative impact when you do a whole string of improvements,” Shannon said.