West Eugene Wetlands
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About the West Eugene Wetlands
Located in the watershed of the Long Tom River, a major tributary of our Willamette River, the West Eugene Wetlands comprises 3,000 acres of rare habitat, protected and restored by the Rivers to Ridges Partnership, formerly the West Eugene Wetlands Partnership, a unique partnership of state, federal and private agencies.
This area is home to numerous rare and unusual animal species and more than 350 species of plants, some of which exist only in the Willamette Valley. This includes three threatened and endangered plants and one endangered animal species. The West Eugene Wetlands also encompass every type of habitat-from wetland, to upland prairie, to oak savannah-found in the Willamette River Valley.
Wetlands are disappearing at an alarming rate. They provide our community with clean water, wildlife habitat and store flood waters. Almost one third of our nation's endangered species are found in wetlands or are dependant on them for survival. Nationwide less than half of the original 215 million wetland acres existing in colonial times no longer function. Locally, the situation is bleaker: less than one half of 1% of the Willamette Valley wet prairie habitat remains. Regulatory agencies, as well as local and federal governments struggle to protect and restore wetlands, but these efforts are not enough. Local community stewardship is essential to wetland protection and maintenance. Continual education also helps to create an atmosphere of stewardship.
The West Eugene Wetlands offer a unique perspective on the diverse, rare wetland and upland habitats of the southern Willamette Valley. It is important that education and outreach continue to inform the community in order to stimulate increased personal and collective responsibility in regards to land management issues, natural resource conservation and restoration, and the interconnectedness of these natural systems and the public.
The Partnership developed the West Eugene Wetlands Plan, which was adopted by the City of Eugene and Lane County in 1992, and which is the primary document that guides the overall management of the wetlands. The community-based collaborative process that led to the creation of the Plan and its overall management strategy brought together private, public, state, and federal agencies, business owners, and individuals in order to balance environmental stewardship with the needs of a growing, prosperous urban community such as Eugene.
751 S. Danebo Ave
Eugene, OR 97402