Sunday, January 24, 2010

Boating And Invasive Species

Kayaking and canoeing are popular on lower Beaver Creek.  Being close to the water and moving in a silent boat is an excellent way to enjoy the wetlands and creek, and their inhabitants.  The South Beach State Park has a summer program with kayak tours on the creek.  These tours give the experience of being on the water and learning from knowledgeable guides about the wetlands and creek and their wildlife, plants, history, and conservation.  

An increasing concern for wetlands is the introduction of invasive species by boats, foot traffic, and human release of animals or plants into the wild.  Careful cleaning of boats, trailers, and clothes helps reduce potential introductions.  Transport and release of animals is regulated by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).  Invasive species are introduced from other areas and habitats and can dominate their new habitats.  This domination or invasion is facilitated by the lack of natural predators and competition in their new habitat.  Importantly for boaters in Oregon, there is a new law that requires purchasing an invasive species permit for all boats 10 feet or longer in length.  

ODFW has developed a strategy to address concerns for conservation of Oregon wild habitats.  Six key issues for conservation are identified in the strategy report: 1) land use changes; 2) invasive species; 3) disruption of disturbance regimes (fire and flood); 4) barriers to animal movement (aquatic passage and terrestrial corridors); 5) water quality and quantity; and 6) institutional barriers to voluntary conservation.  The report gives a clear summary of information and tools for conservation in the state.  It is important to look at conservation from many perspectives: big picture; local; ecoregion; habitat; species; and partnerships among private land owners, conservation organizations, and local, state, and national government.  We will return to these themes as they relate to Beaver Creek Marsh and connecting lands, watershed, and ocean.  The subject is rich and includes all aspects of the relationships between space, place, and beings.  
Posted by michael

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