Jackson-Frazier Focus Area
Jackson Frazier Project
Currently, Oregon’s 45 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) work with landowners statewide to conserve natural resources. This work is vital in protecting and improving Oregon’s water quality. However, recent developments and concerns are increasing the need to demonstrate the effectiveness of the conservation efforts made by the agriculture industry. In order to address this and other concerns, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), Oregon Association of Conservation Districts (OACD) leadership are requiring that 25% of the funds that SWCDs receive from ODA be directed to a Focus Area that will measure change over time.
Description of Watershed
The Jackson, Frazier and Village Green Creeks form a complex network of streams and wetland to the north of the Corvallis city limits. Jackson and Frazier Creeks both originate in McDonald State Forest. The two flow eastward through the agricultural fields and small rural residences before merging at Hwy. 99. East of the highway their combined flows enter the Jackson-Frazier Wetlands County Park, an important habitat area. The flow leaving the wetland is split between the farmlands to the northeast and Village Green Creek to the south. Village Green Creek runs over half a mile to the southeast before joining Sequoia Creek. The creeks continue to the east through agricultural lands where they enter the Willamette River.
By using the Jackson-Frazier Watershed as our focus area, we have the unique opportunity to educate and work with the rural residential and agricultural producers to improve and protect the integrity of the upper reaches of a rural watershed as it becomes developed in the next forty years. This watershed does not currently have a watershed council representing it.
In 2013, the Oregon Department of Agriculture required conservation districts to focus their Agricultural Water Quality outreach efforts to landowners within smaller geographical areas termed focus areas. By concentrating on a smaller scale, we can better assess how landowner actions affect water quality improvements. We chose the Jackson-Frazier Watershed as our focus area, a 3,700 acre drainage basin on the north side of Corvallis (in blue on map). Typical streamside restoration involves planting trees and shrubs to decrease water temperature and soil erosion. However, vegetation maps derived from 1850s survey data indicate that the focus area was primarily wetland and upland prairie. Therefore, we will promote agroforestry and alternative benefits of streamside vegetation, such as wildlife and pollinator habitat and prevention of geese predation of cropland.