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Riparian Habitat

Historic

The base of the bluffs on the Willamette are too narrow for any difference in vegetation type to show in the survey records but water-tolerant plants such as willow, ash, cottonwood, and red-osier dogwood most likely occupied the immediate shoreline.

On the bluffs of the Willamette, in the northern portion of the subwatershed, the riparian area would have consisted of a Douglas fir and white oak woodland. Because the 1851 to 1865 General Land Office survey records are very general it is likely the vegetation type on the bluff itself and near the river were somewhat different. The steep bluffs on the east side of the Willamette are well drained and were likely part of the white oak/Pacific madrone vegetative association rather than the Douglas fir and white oak woodland type indicated in Christy et al. (2000).

There was an extensive wetland complex fed by springs and tributaries east of the bluffs that was probably heavily forested with ash and willow species.

It is likely the vegetation types indicated for the upland areas of this subwatershed were somewhat different adjacent to the tributary streams flowing from the east. Water-tolerant plants such as willow, ash, cottonwood, and red-osier dogwood most likely occupied the immediate shoreline and ravine bottom of eastside tributary streams.

Downed woody debris was likely abundant in the riparian habitat and along the river. These areas would have been subject to frequent inundation from the Willamette River and would have acted as sources of wood and organic material for the river.

Current

Riparian habitat of the Willamette River is restricted to a narrow strip of cottonwood forest and other vegetation between the Springwater trail and the River.

Most of the subwatershed upland from the Willamette River riparian corridor has been extensively developed for residential and commercial uses. Riparian areas are absent.

Assessment

Processes that have led to alterations to riparian habitat conditions include residential and commercial development, fill, transportation corridors and vegetation removal.
Maps & Files

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