Within Our Reach

Within Our Reach Conference 2014 Program

December 11 - DAY 1
Cascade Ballroom
Pam Wiley, Willamette River Initiative
Cascade Ballroom
How do local residents perceive the Willamette River? What place does - or doesn't - the river hold in people's lives? Earlier this year, Meyer Memorial Trust commissioned a survey designed to provide us with a better understanding of how the public regards and values the Willamette. The results are in and WOR attendees will be the first audience to hear what researchers discovered. John Horvick from DHM Research will present survey results and offer insights on how this new knowledge might inform efforts to expand public support for Willamette River restoration. Attendees will also have a chance to weigh in with an on-the-spot instant survey.
John Horvick, Vice President and Director of Research, DHM Research
Cascade Ballroom
In collaboration with the Meyer Memorial Trust, a team from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences is in the process of developing the first Willamette River Report Card. Similar to report cards for the Chesapeake Bay, Mississippi River and other waterbodies, the Willamette Report Card will measure the health of the river based on metrics determined through workshops with scientists and watershed stakeholders. Project leaders from UMCES will outline this collaborative process and present a preliminary draft of the Report Card, which, once complete, will be a powerful tool for communicating the state of our river to multiple audiences.
Dr. Heath Kelsey, Program Director/Associate Research Scientist, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences (UMCES)
In this technological age, data is everywhere. How can it be put to practical use in river restoration? In this session, learn how decision support tools have been developed to support conservation-oriented decision making in the Willamette Basin and throughout the greater Northwest. These tools identify restoration value on the landscape, help practitioners identify priorities in the face of limited resources, and help restoration efforts pinpoint actions to locations and scales that have the most impact. Discussions will focus on conceptualizing problems and sketching approaches for decision-making while gaining input on what decision support is needed for continuing Willamette restoration.
Dan Bell, Willamette Basin Conservation Director, The Nature Conservancy
Mike Mertens, Director of Spatial Analysis, Ecotrust 
Tom Miewald, Landscape Ecologist and Conservation Data Coordinator, US Fish and Wildlife Service 
Communities of color, immigrants and low-income residents are disproportionately affected by the contamination of and lack of access to the Willamette River in the Portland area. Yet, these populations are greatly underrepresented in the decision-making processes that impact them. In this session, hear how the Portland Harbor Community Coalition is working to empower new leaders and support the voices of all who have a stake in a healthier river. Panelists will share projects to engage youth and other members of underrepresented groups in Willamette River stewardship - with takeaways for organizations looking to reach out to underrepresented groups in their own communities.
Moderator: Jeri Williams, Diversity and Civic Leadership Coordinator, City of Portland
Cassie Cohen, Executive Director, Groundwork Portland
Rose High Bear, Executive Producer, Wisdom of the Elders
Ibrahim Mubarak, Founder, Right to Survive
Identified in Oregon's Conservation Strategy as a significant threat, invasive species degrade and impede recovery of native habitats across the landscape. While efforts to remove invaders are fraught with challenges, localized progress is occurring — and encouraging. In this session, practitioners from the Upper, Mid- and Lower Willamette River basin will share their experiences addressing the aquatic water primrose Ludwigia, riparian invader Japanese knotweed, and a host of other common invasive species on both public and private lands. Learn about strategies that are working under these diverse conditions and habitat types, and add your own experiences to the discussion.
Moderator: Kendra Smith, Willamette Model Watershed Program Manager, Bonneville Environmental Foundation
Lauri Holts, Natural Resources Enhancement Coordinator, City of Eugene 
Kristen Larson, Council Coordinator, Luckiamute Watershed Council 
Dominic Maze, Biologist/Invasive Species Coordinator, City of Portland 
Spurred by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board's revised focused funding strategy, a Willamette Steering Committee has formed to develop an action plan for restoration in the Willamette Basin. With a focus on off-channel habitats and connected, functioning native riparian forest corridors in the mainstem and tributaries, this planning will unfold over the coming six to nine months. This session will begin with a quick update on the Focused Investment Partnership (FIP) — how it works and what it means for restoration funding in the Willamette — followed by small-group conversations on reach-specific priorities, partnerships and more.
Leader: Kathleen Guillozet, Third Stream Consulting 
Tara Davis, Executive Director, Calapooia Watershed Council
Marci Krass, Restoration Coordinator, Willamette Riverkeeper 
Joe Moll, Executive Director, McKenzie River Trust
Engaging and working with private landowners is essential to successful watershed restoration efforts, yet natural resource management professionals and policy makers seldom hear perspectives from landowners about these relationships. This session will present new research examining how watershed councils interact with private landowners. First-hand accounts from landowner panelists will offer insights into what it takes to cultivate relationships and explore why landowners voluntarily change how they manage their properties in support of salmon recovery and improved conditions of streams and rivers.
Dan Calvert, Ph.D. candidate, Oregon State University 
Michael Hibbard, Professor Emeritus, University of Oregon Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management

Landowner Panelists:

George Pugh, Calapooia River watershed
Jim Belknap, Marys River watershed
Herb Crew, Marys River and Luckiamute watersheds
Cascade Ballroom
Beneath our farms, forests, and communities lies a fascinating array of fluvial landforms whose topography and stratigraphy reflect interwoven influences of Quaternary-scale geological processes, historical human activities, and present-day floodplain formation. Drawing upon recent findings from a USGS-led floodplain study, this presentation will describe key features and formative processes of the Willamette River floodplain. The narrative emerging from this work yields new (and sometimes surprising) insights about the history and future of our floodplain and the forests, ecosystems and human communities dependent upon this landscape.
Rose Wallick, Hydrologist, US Geological Survey
Willamette Water 2100 (WW2100) is a research project investigating how climate change, increased population and economic growth may alter the availability and the use of water in the Willamette River Basin on a decadal to centennial timescale. A central tool of the project is a computer model of the Willamette water system that integrates aspects of hydrology, ecology and human systems. This presentation will focus on themes that have emerged as the WW2100 team uses the model to probe the interactions between land and water management policies, climate and ecology.
Roy Haggerty, Professor of Environmental Geology, Oregon State University 
How can our knowledge of Willamette River fish communities be put to use in restoration? In this session, hear about the ongoing, collaborative effort to integrate information on juvenile Chinook salmon and other species, habitat features, and hydrology to map and identify high priority areas for restoration. Speakers will share their latest research, what it tells us about Willamette River fishes and their habitats, and how the data can be used as a tool to inform restoration planning and implementation.
Moderator: Dave Hulse, Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Oregon 
Stan Gregory, Professor of Fisheries, Oregon State University 
Kirk Schroeder, Fisheries Biologist, Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife 
Luke Schultz, Project Leader, OSU Fish Research Cooperative Unit 
In an environment where what happens upstream affects those downstream, coordination between river stakeholders is vital to restoration success. But connecting partners across sectors and geography can be a tall order. When do the benefits of coordinating a large group justify the effort? This session will focus on partnership-driven projects of different scales along the mainstem Willamette River. Through case studies and discussion, panelists will convey the uniqueness of several stakeholder-driven efforts while sharing the challenges and rewards of coordinating programs with a diverse group of partners.
Moderator: Holly Crosson, District Manager, Benton Soil and Water Conservation District
Crystal Durbecq, Willamette Mainstem Coordinator/Plant Specialist, Benton Soil and Water Conservation District 
Brad Withrow-Robinson, Associate Professor of Forestry and Natural Resources, Oregon State University Extension 
Marci Krass, Restoration Coordinator, Willamette Riverkeeper 
Scott Youngblood, Willamette River Greenway Ranger, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department 
At their best, networks benefit their individual members while simultaneously supporting "the greater good" — in our case, improved river and watershed health. Networks can improve coordination and alignment, heighten public visibility, and strengthen the ties among disparate groups with similar geographies, values and missions. Presenters at this breakout will share their experiences with a wide range of conservation-related networks, from small to large and formal to informal. Afterwards, participants will break into small groups to discuss whether and how a network of Willamette River stakeholders might support and add value to on-going restoration efforts.
Michael Wetter, Executive Director, The Intertwine Alliance 
Jennifer Browning, Executive Director, Bluestem Communications 
This session features two large-scale restoration projects, one along the Willamette mainstem near Monroe and one in Little Fall Creek, a sub-basin of the Middle Fork Willamette River. Though differing in goals and approach, both projects seek to improve conditions at a scale commensurate with the magnitude of the restoration needs in the affected stream or reach. Presenters will share project backgrounds, strategies, challenges and outcomes to date, along with observations about what it takes to successfully implement complex, large-scale restoration projects, how to maintain such projects over time, and what they would consider before taking on similarly scaled projects in the future.
Moderator: Michael Pope, Executive Director, Greenbelt Land Trust
Matt Blakeley-Smith, Willamette Restoration Coordinator, Greenbelt Land Trust 
Eve Montanaro, Executive Director, Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council 
Gary Horning, Owner/Operator, Deerhaven Farms
Steve Horning, Owner/Operator, Deerhaven Farms
Maryanne Reiter, Hydrologist, Weyerhaeuser
The Willamette River is the cleanest it's been in decades, but an old reputation is hard to shake. Hear from three local organizations working to build a greater public understanding and love of the Willamette. From Paddle Oregon and the Great Willamette Cleanup to the Big Float and Willamette River Relay, panelists will share goals, strategies and outcomes of different efforts to inspire people to embrace their river. Discussion will center on how to feed this upward trend in river engagement and ideas for inspiring new audiences to 'test the waters.'
Moderator: Jeremy Monroe, Director, Freshwaters Illustrated
Travis Williams, Executive Director, Willamette Riverkeeper 
Willie Levenson, Ringleader, Human Access Project 
Kyle Smith, Communications and Development Director, Calapooia Watershed Council 
Cascade Ballroom
Moderator: Wendy Hudson, Willamette Partnership Coordinator, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
4:45pm 1. Willamette Mainstem Cooperative (Crystal Durbecq/Benton Soil and Water Conservation District)
2. Tryon Creek Confluence Habitat Enhancement Project (Marc Peters/City of Portland)
3. Harkens Lake: A Case Study in Collaborative Land Protection and Restoration in a Willamette River Floodplain (Matt Blakeley-Smith/Greenbelt Land Trust)
4. Many Beautiful Paths - Reducing Pesticides & Improving Urban Water and Wildlife (Sarah Whitney, Urban Restoration & Stormwater Manager, Long Tom Watershed Council)
5. How to catch and kill a CARP: From acquisition to restoration, a land trust's venture into the world of sand and gravel mine restoration (Chris Vogel/McKenzie River Trust)
6. Diverse Life Histories of Juvenile Spring Chinook Salmon Provide Stability to Adult Returns in the Willamette Basin (Luke Whitman/Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)
7. Willamette Model Watershed Program Effectiveness Monitoring, a Mid-Program Review (Eric Andersen/South Santiam Watershed Council)
8. Investigating Links Between Stream Rate of Warming and Riparian Vegetation, McDowell Creek Case Study (Eric Andersen/South Santiam Watershed Council, Ivan Arismendi/Oregon State University)
9. Working together to Evaluate Success: Monitoring Fish for the Tryon Creek Confluence Habitat Enhancement Project (Brook Silver/US Fish and Wildlife Service)
10. River Island Restoration Project (Brian Vaughn/Metro)
11. Pacific Lamprey Abundance and Migration Patterns at Willamette Falls (Cyndi Baker/Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs)
12. Moving Together, Cascading Forward: The Cal-San Team (Lance Wyss/Calapooia, N. Santiam and S. Santiam Watershed Councils)
13. Calapooia Watershed Youth Education Program (Bessie Joyce/Calapooia Watershed Council)
14. Simulating groundwater and surface water interaction in the Willamette Basin, Oregon (Nora Herrera and Terrence Conlon/US Geological Survey)
15. Abundance and habitat relationships of Willamette River fishes (Stan Gregory/Oregon State University)
16. Floodplain restoration and reconnection at the Willamette Confluence Preserve (Jason Nuckols and Melissa Olson/The Nature Conservancy)
17. The Willamette River Report Card (Heath Kelsey and Tracey Saxby/University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences)
18. Landscape Scale Knotweed Control in the Luckiamute Basin (Kristen Larson/Luckiamute Watershed Council)
December 12 - DAY 2
Cascade Ballroom
Stan Gregory, Professor of Fisheries, Oregon State University
Cascade Ballroom
Hervé Piégay, Research Director, National Center for Scientific Research at the University of Lyon, France 
Flow duration analysis is useful for understanding current river-floodplain connectivity, developing biologically and hydrologically-based restoration goals, and simply monitoring restoration project performance. River Design Group, Inc. will provide a workshop on how to acquire data, develop flow duration analyses, and apply the data to restoration projects. The workshop will take attendees through an example flow duration process, demonstrating how to incorporate site-specific river stage data to improve flow duration accuracy and how to incorporate stage-discharge results in ArcGIS to review reach-scale inundation. The workshop is intended to provide restoration practitioners with an understanding and the tools to complete a floodplain inundation analysis.
Troy Brandt, Principal Biologist, River Design Group, Inc. 
Pete Gruendike, Fisheries Biologist, River Design Group, Inc.
According to a 2011 assessment by Oregon DEQ, about 70 percent of riparian areas needing restoration in the Willamette Basin are on agricultural lands. Numerous landowners, watershed councils, SWCDs, land trusts, agencies, and others are working to restore riparian areas on agricultural lands - to improve water quality, habitat and other ecosystem functions. Three panelists will share recent innovative, strategic and collaborative approaches that improve the effectiveness of planning, implementation and tracking progress. An interactive discussion will allow conference participants to discuss their ideas regarding the opportunities and challenges to scaling up riparian restoration on agricultural lands.
Moderator: Allison Hensey, Program Director for Agriculture and Watersheds, Oregon Environmental Council 
Sarah Dyrdahl, Project Manager, Calapooia, South Santiam and North Santiam Watershed Councils 
Cheryl Hummon, Riparian Specialist, Oregon Department of Agriculture 
Karl Morgenstern, Environmental Management Supervisor, Eugene Water and Electric Board 
The Willamette River has been an important source of drinking water for decades. The cities of Springfield, Corvallis, Adair Village, Wilsonville and Sherwood provide safe, quality water from the Willamette River, and many other communities are making plans to follow. The health of the Willamette is of primary importance to water purveyors and their customers in these communities. The goal of this session is to share the commitment and approach of water purveyors to source water protection and reliability, and to identify opportunities for restoration groups and practitioners to partner with us in efforts to protect the precious Willamette source.
Moderator: Jim Meierotto, Water Supply Program Communications, Tualatin Valley Water District
Libby Barg, Vice President, Barney and Worth, Inc.
Tacy Steele, Communications Officer, Hillsboro Water
Todd Heidgerken, Manager of Community and Intergovernmental Relations, Tualatin Valley Water District
Urbanization and industrialization have resulted in a decline in healthy native fish populations - in our basin and around the world. But recent local successes show it can be possible to restore aquatic habitat in systems with heavy human impact given the right combination of technical expertise, collaboration and funding. In this session, learn about restoration projects at several sites across the basin, including Delta Ponds in Eugene, Tryon Creek and Johnson Creek in Portland, and the lowermost 11 miles of the river in Portland Harbor. Panelists will present case studies and then engage the audience in a discussion about the specific challenges of highly impacted sites, tools and techniques for restoration, lessons learned and takeaways for future projects.
Moderator: Mike Rosen, Watershed Division Manager, City of Portland
Lauri Holts, Natural Resources Enhancement Coordinator, City of Eugene 
Kristen Pleyte Acock, Water Resources Engineer, City of Portland 
Robin Jenkinson, Restoration Coordinator, Johnson Creek Watershed Council 
Lauren Senkyr, Habitat Restoration Specialist/Contractor, NOAA Restoration Center
The Willamette is a big piece of geography with dozens of organizations working to improve land and water conditions. But when tallied up, does the scale of the work match the scale of the challenge? Are more and stronger partnerships needed - or something bolder? What about housing land trusts and watershed councils within one organizational structure? This interactive session will use this admittedly radical idea as a launching pad for discussing intermediate stages of partnerships for the region, as well as critical challenges to effective collaboration.
Presenter: Joe Moll, Executive Director, McKenzie River Trust 
Discussion facilitator: Allison Handler, Consultant, Solid Ground Consulting
Cascade Ballroom
The work of restoring rivers and watersheds is complex, expensive, and very long-term. Sometimes we implement big projects with significant impacts, but often we have to settle for many small wins and hope they add up to something meaningful over time. Scale isn't just about project size or quantity, though - it's about strategy, connectivity, community, and human beings. Every element is big, and interconnected, and - let's face it - there is no final victory. In this interview format session, three regional leaders will tell us stories of their watersheds and how they and their partners approached the challenge of making a real and lasting difference across a large landscape. They'll roll up results, share successes and failures, and offer some words of wisdom to consider as we look forward to the next round of work in the Willamette.
Moderator: Todd Reeve, Chief Executive Officer, Bonneville Environmental Foundation
Scott Miller, President, Resource Media
Steve Kucas, Environmental Compliance Manager, Portland Water Bureau
James White, Operations and Program Integration Manager, Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board
Cascade Ballroom
Emma Marris, Environmental Writer

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