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Gazette-Times

Kings Valley Charter School freshmen were among nine of the school's biology students who recently identified plants, measured stream depth and figured the mass of the logs that were placed in the creek to create fish habitat.

The Luckiamute Watershed Council coordinated the project to place about 40 logs in Plunkett Creek, in cooperation with the landowner, Michael Moore, whose family has lived on and farmed the land for several generations.

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Weyerhaeuser donated huge Douglas fir logs from another part of the watershed, and a private landowner in North Albany donated smaller pine logs. This summer, the logs were placed in the creek the students were surveying in November. Another 15 were placed in nearby Vincent Creek to help create a healthier stream channel.

Logs help form pools and retain gravel, attracting winter steelhead to the creek that previously was swift and dangerous. If fish have a place to rest in the slower waters created by the logs, they are more likely to survive, said Michael Cairns, a member of the watershed council.

Landowners interested in similar improvement projects on their lands in the Luckiamute River or Ash Creek watersheds can call Cairns at 503-838-4275 for more information.

- Gail Oberst

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