Botanical Rambles

Welcome to the Washington Native Plant Society Blog

Riparian Planting in Eastern Washington

I visited several salmon restoration projects in the Yakima Basin at the end of October, and I was excited to see the progress being made to restore native willows, cottonwood, red-osier dogwood, and grasses in old road beds, formerly channelized streams, and other challenging sites. Some resources about planting along streams and rivers in eastern Washington have crossed my path recently, and I thought I would share them with you.

The first is a save-the-date announcement from Heather Simmons at the Washington Department of Ecology. She writes:

It's time to start planning for the 2018 Eastern Washington Riparian Planting Symposium! Last year's symposium was such an unexpected success that we knew immediately we had to do it again, and because of all the great input provided by last year's attendees, this symposium should be even better—I already have some great speakers lined up!

We also have a new sponsor—the Yakama Nation is joining the Washington Department of Ecology and the Yakima Basin Fish & Wildlife Recovery Board to host the 2018 symposium. Thank you to all our sponsors!

Registration is not yet open (probably in January), but please mark your calendars for March 8th, 2018 and feel free to share this message with others who are not on this email chain (and let them know to contact me directly to get on the mailing list).

Willows along stream by Jim Evans

Heather continues that she needs 5-10 volunteers that can help with various items both before and during the symposium. If you would be interested in volunteering (or know someone who would), please let Heather know. She notes: "Volunteers get a secure spot in the symposium! (And street cred of course.)"

My colleague Kay Caromile, who manages grants for the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, had this to say: "I went to the symposium last year and it was fantastic. If you cover planting projects in the sunny side of the state, I highly recommend it."

She sent the following:

Here is an overview of the USDA-NRCS recommendations for how to restore riparian plant communities in eastern Washington. This link is to a presentation by Richard Fleenor, a plant materials specialist for the USDA-NRCS.

There is a lot of practical advice in here and we [the Salmon Recovery Funding Board] follow many of these recommendations and use many of the resources and research that he describes.

Another resource from Heather is this 2002 article on methods for irrigating plants in arid climates based on traditional methods used around the world: Alternative Irrigation Systems for Arid Land Restoration by David A. Bainbridge (Ecological Restoration 20: 23-30)

Finally, you can watch the recording of a U.S. Department of Agriculture webinar on Restoring Native Plant Communities: Soil and Hydrology Suited Planning Tools.

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