Stream Restoration in Northeastern Oregon Through Beaver Reintroduction

By Liz Townsend

Whitman College, Walla Walla WA


In the summer of 2009 geomorphic data were collected on Camp Creek, a tributary of the North Fork of the Burnt River in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in northeastern Oregon. The objective of this project was to collect baseline geomorphic data on Camp Creek as well as to compare the volume of water held in the creek channel during the late summer months to the bankfull volume.  The potential storage of Camp Creek is approximately 60 times greater than the current amount in one reach and approximately 65 times greater in a second reach.  The reintroduction of beaver into degraded streams such as those in northeastern Oregon could restore these streams to a healthier state, help to repair wetlands and riparian areas, and mitigate the effects of climate change on water storage.