Skyline West is the area of Portland over the crest of the West Hills from downtown and primarily north of Highway 26 that includes neighborhoods such as Forest Heights and the Skyline area. This area, about 2,139 acres of Portland, drains west and south toward the Tualatin River.
The southern half is mostly residential development and the northern half is mostly zoned for residential farm use. The area creeks, wetlands and forested ravines plan an important role in downstream fish and amphibian production within the larger Tualatin River system.
The Skyline West drainage area is characterized by a network of headwater tributaries and steep ravines. Relatively long contiguous stretches of streams with good habitat components remain undisturbed. Native fish and macroinvertebrates are present in streams. The riparian areas and valley slopes are largely covered by vegetation, providing important wildlife habitat. These remaining natural assets, however, are impaired by upland development and earlier logging.
The processes of development and construction – much of which has occurred in the last 15 to 20 years – can lead to erosion. Most of the development in recent years has been around Cedar Mill Creek. Most of the ridge tops and much of the lower watershed are now developed. Impervious surfaces like roofs, roads and driveways impede rainwater infiltration and increase the volume and velocity of stormwater runoff. The resulting “flashy” stormwater runoff can intensify soil and stream erosion. This condition is exacerbated by the steep slopes in the area.
This area has had limited watershed assessment and planning to date, but Environmental Services will incorporate it into future citywide stormwater system and watershed planning.
For more information
Contact Amin Wahab, Westside Watersheds Manager
Connect with other organizations and community partners working in the Skyline West area:
- Tualatin River Watershed Council A local organization dedicated to improving the conditions of the Tualatin River and its watershed.
- Tualatin Riverkeepers A non-profit organization dedicated to holistic watershed management for the benefit of our communities.
- Forest Heights Homeowners Association Forest Heights is a planned mixed use community within the Portland City limits and in the Cedar Mill Creek subwatershed of Tualatin West.
- Tualatin Basin Partners for Clean Water Other organizations and resources for a heathier Tualatin River.