Building Resiliency and Connecting Corridors in Maxfield Creek
Old alders line narrow buffers
along Maxfield Creek.
In Benton County, Maxfield Creek Road hugs the curves of its namesake creek, which empties into the Luckiamute River just a few hundred feet west of the Kings Valley Highway crossing. Along Maxfield Creek, historical land use practices have resulted in the removal of many of the large conifers that provided both shade to the waters and the large wood so important to in-stream habitat health. In addition, much of the understory has been cleared of native species and overcome by non-native invasive species like Himalayan blackberry, vinca, common teasel and reed canary grass.
The existing trees - mostly aging alders - often fall prey to heavy winds and other disturbances, which exposes the stream to even more solar heating and non-native weed infestation. The result has been an increasingly patchy and open streamside habitat that doesn’t provide effective corridors for wildlife or enough shade to keep water temperatures cool enough for salmon and trout recovery. The non-native understory also prevents native species from regaining a foothold, meaning that intervention is necessary to stop this area from deteriorating further and put it back on the road to recovery.
The Maxfield Revegetation project aims to restore the health of a two mile stretch of this creek and 26.5 acres of neighboring riparian forest by removing invasive species, planting native trees and shrubs, and equipping the landowners themselves with the tools and knowledge they need to protect their creek’s health beyond the lifespan of this project.
Stay tuned for more news about this exciting new project in the next few months!
Click here to read more about restoration efforts by the LWC and its partners in the upper reaches of Maxfield Creek!
If you are driving by the project area, check out our two Restoration in Progress signs posted on Maxfield Creek Road!
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Your Land. Your Rivers. Your Community. Your Watershed.
Luckiamute Watershed Council 165 D Street, Independence, OR 97351 503-837-0237 • Director@LuckiamuteLWC.org