BEND- The Deschutes National Forest will begin construction on a pilot project with the Deschutes Basin Board of Control and local irrigators to restore a wetland at Ryan Ranch this week.
Beginning on Wednesday, January 14, 2014 workers will install three temporary culverts underneath an existing berm. All work is expected to finish by Friday, January 16, 2014. The culverts will allow water from the river into the Ryan Ranch basin on a trial basis this spring and summer in order to test the seepage and evaporation.
The Deschutes River Trail will be closed for three days while the culverts are installed. While the work is being completed, the public may need to reroute their walk on the Deschutes River Trail through the meadow or around the meadow on an existing road. After work is completed, the trail will reopen to the public.
The pilot project will help resource managers plan for the long-term restoration of the historic Ryan Ranch wetland area. If the pilot project is successful, future phases may also include permanent connections between the river and floodplain and the restoration of the eroded river banks.
Planning to restore Ryan Ranch as a wetland began in 2008. Restoration of this wetland would benefit numerous wildlife and botanical species associated with fresh water wetlands, including migratory birds, water fowl, Sandhill cranes, elk and mule deer. The reconnection of surface water from the Deschutes River with the Ryan Ranch floodplain would also help aquatic species like the Oregon spotted frog, a species recently designated as “Threatened” by the US Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act by creating breeding, rearing and overwintering habitat.
For more information, please contact Deschutes National Forest Soil Scientist, Peter Sussman at Scientist,541-383-5594 or email@example.com.