Sometimes, cute critter pictures are in order. These were taken recently in Forest Park, when Environmental Services and Parks Urban Forestry staff were collecting information at the sites where some culverts are scheduled to be replaced in 2017.
They found three different kinds of salamanders in and around the streams that flow through culverts under Leif Erickson Drive:
Forest Park is an important regional habitat anchor, with over 100 species of birds and 62 species of mammals, as well as reptiles, amphibians and many other creatures. The forest protects the streams that provide relatively clean, cool water to the Willamette River.
Old, failing culverts cause erosion that harms water quality and habitat. The old culverts also threaten to wash out completely during large rainstorms. That happened to one culvert in 2010, washing large amounts of sediment downstream and causing an emergency closure of Leif Erickson Drive, creating a risk for emergency fire and rescue vehicles. Environmental Services and Parks are teaming up on proactive replacement of some priority culverts in Forest Park to avoid costly emergency repairs, protect water quality and improve aquatic habitat.
Learn more about conditions in the Willamette Tributaries watersheds - where Forest Park is located - in the Watershed Report Cards.