Friday, January 22, 2010

Where Is Beaver Creek Marsh?

The marsh is located in Lincoln County, Oregon between Newport and Waldport and is in the lowest part of the Beaver Creek watershed, east of Ona Beach State Park.  The Beaver Creek watershed (32,500 acres) is described in a report by the US Forest Service (2001).  A map of the marsh was included in the back of a report on the Beaver Creek Natural Area, a project designed by Oregon State Parks.  The marsh is fresh and estuarine and drains into the Pacific Ocean, with close proximity to upland forest and fields.  This area of the Beaver Creek watershed is rich in habitats and biodiversity.  We live on a hill surrounded by the marsh and see many animals on our land who are residents or are moving between forest and wetland habitats.  Terrestrial visitors include, elk, deer, bobcat, coyote, black bear, rabbits, racoons, squirrels, beaver, nutria, mink, weasel, possum, chipmunks, mice, moles, voles, bats, frogs, and newts.  There are many birds in the area which are residents or migratory, depending on the season.  Fish are abundant in Beaver Creek, including several species of salmon.  Plant life includes species from aquatic, beach, wetland, upland field, roadside, and forest habitats. 

The close proximity of ocean, estuary, wetlands, fields, and forest makes an ideal place for animals, plants, and human recreation and learning.  Agriculture and forestry activity in the lower Beaver Creek area is low impact, while the middle and upper watershed includes active forestry and agriculture.  Residential density in the Beaver Creek watershed is low.  There has been a shift among many residents towards the idea of conserving wetland habitats which have been marginal farming areas.  Holding wetlands and associated forest lands in conservation is an important step towards creating legacy lands for future generations.  As urban needs stimulate development of these types of land, they will become rare and highly valued for recreation and place-based learning.  In 50 years the Beaver Creek Marsh will be appreciated as a natural resource jewel in the crown of Oregon.  

Conservation of wetlands and forest lands can be accomplished in several ways that result in tax advantages or income from land sales.  Conservation easements can be granted, or land donated or sold to non-profit organizations, such as Wetlands Conservancy. Government agencies can also buy land for conservation.  Partnerships between land owners, non-profit organizations, and government agencies are a key element of conservation projects and the Beaver Creek Marsh is a good example of this activity.
Posted by michael  

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