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Trout Creek Restoration

by: Photo By Susan Matheny - Jeri May Larrance takes a break from planting while classmates cross Trout Creek to plant trees and shrubs.

Madras High forestry students took on a real-life project March 15-23, as they began planting 11,000 tree and shrub seedlings along Trout Creek during a riparian restoration project.
   Partners in the project are the Willow Creek and Trout Creek watershed councils, Redband Ranch owner Bill Atherton, and Wolftree science enrichment program. The goal is to bring steelhead back to areas of Trout Creek.
   A 2005 flood had scoured plants and soil out of the creek banks. "The students are adding plants to trap sediment to build up the soil again and trees to cool the water for fish," explained watershed council coordinator David Bowers.
   Clearwater Native Nursery in Redmond grew the the seedlings from cuttings taken at Trout Creek. Included were coyote willow, woods rose, dogwood, mock orange and basin wild rye.
   Prior to planting, Wolftree scientists helped students take chemistry and vertebrate samples of the creek to create baseline data, and take before photos for comparison later.
   The 2 1/2-year project will also include plantings along Ten-Mile Creek this fall after boulders are moved to trap sediment.
   They've been planting an average of 600 plants an hour," said MHS forestry teacher Ian McMorrow of the student's work.