Sub-watershed Enhancement Program

bridge replaced culvert_subwatershed image
By replacing an undersized culvert (above)
with a bridge (below), cutthroat trout
regained access to 45 miles of upstream
habitat on a tributary to Coyote Creek.

Several Ferguson Creek neighbors got together in a fellow landowner’s home in 2003 and were the first to participate in LTWC’s Sub-watershed Enhancement Program. Since that initial discussion about the Long Tom Watershed Council and local water health which took place on their turf, each of them has done a habitat enhancement project with the Council. Through peer discussions, these folks helped carry the torch to get local creek improvement started in other creeks across the watershed.

The Sub-watershed Enhancement Program is designed as a peer network for rural property owners to problem-solve questions about water quality and habitat in their local creek. We found that people can think about the whole watershed once in a while, but most easily understand their local creek and how to act on their own property. Sharing data and helping to identify possible solutions with small groups in private settings brings people together because people enjoy learning and helping to find solutions alongside their neighbors, especially when the issues are broader than one or two properties.We believe that successful land and water stewardship is most successful under an inclusive approach. One thing the program doesn’t do is pass judgment on any particular land use or activity. Any given stream section is influenced by not only the lands immediately around it, but also by whatever happens upstream, downstream, historical events, and natural causes. If there’s any singling out it is to say thank you for taking a step toward making our creeks healthier!