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Silvies Watershed (USGS #17120002)

The Silvies watershed is located in Harney County and contains the towns of Seneca, Hines, and Burns. The watershed is protected and managed by several organizations and agencies, including the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, the Harney County Watershed Council, Environment Oregon, Solv Watershed Programs, the Oregon Conservation Network, the Oregon State University Watershed Extension Program, and the Oregon Watershed Land Trust.

One issue of concern within the watershed is high stream temperature caused by a lack of riparian vegetation. Efforts are being made to restore riparian vegetation, which will shade streams and reduce water temperature. One of these efforts ongoing within the watershed is the Silvies Canyon Watershed Restoration Project, run by the U.S. Forest Service

The purpose of this project is to reduce road-related impacts, improve riparian conditions, reorganize dedicated old growth areas, capture the economic value of surplus trees, and improve the health, vigor, and resiliency of vegetation to insects, disease, wildfire, and other disturbances. Managers hope to achieve these goals though fuels reduction treatments, riparian restoration, manual removal of noxious weed, road maintenance, juniper reduction, and the restoration of aspen and cottonwood.


U.S. Forest Service Silvies Canyon Watershed Restoration Project

USGS water resources links for the Silvies watershed

The Environmental Protection Agency's Surf Your Watershed for the Silvies watershed

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's Strategy for Monitoring Oregon's Waters

Authored by Caitlin Bell, Science Writer, Oregon Explorer