Fire Damaged Logs Being Turned Into Salmon Habitat

Jan 21, 2021

Fire damaged logs along the Oregon coast will be turned into habitat for salmon.

  

Salmon benefit from downed logs in streams and rivers. It gives them shelter during floods and helps keep them from being washed out to sea before they’re big enough.

The Echo Mountain Complex fire tore through several neighborhoods near Lincoln City.
Credit Chris Lehman / KLCC

  

 

When the Echo Mountain Complex fire tore through parts of the Oregon coast near Lincoln City last fall, wildlife groups saw an opportunity. Thousands of fire-damaged logs with no marketable value will be turned into salmon habitat in area waterways.

 

“We’re essentially stockpiling as many logs as we can get for now, and then working with partners to get as many as the logs into creeks and wetlands and estuaries over the next two summers,” said Evan Hayduk, the watershed coordinator for the Midcoast Watersheds Council.

In-stream work is typically done during the summer in order to minimize the impact on salmon.

Hayduk said as many as 4,000 logs could be available. He said the concept isn't new. The council has been salvaging logs to create salmon habitat for decades. But the sheer volume of available material at one time far exceeds anything they've ever dealt with. "This is essentially that program on steroids," he said.

Trees from other fire zones won’t be taken to the coast due to concerns about transporting pests.