Beginning on Monday, March 9th workers will conduct maintenance on temporary culverts installed earlier this winter. 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. All work is expected to be completed by Tuesday, March 10th.
A section of the Deschutes River Trail will be closed while the maintenance occurs. 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. The trail will reopen to the public after the work is completed.
The pilot project will help resource managers plan for the long-term restoration of the Ryan Ranch 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 Sussmann at 541-383-5594 or firstname.lastname@example.org.