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Natural Areas

Sycan Marsh Restoration

Land managers in the Lakes Basin have been concerned that changes in vegetation and soil conditions in the Upper Sycan watershed, located in Klamath County, have reduced the capacity for the watershed to retain and safely release water. Within the watershed, humans have caused changes in forest structure, fire regimes, riparian vegetation, and juniper ecology. In addition, the hydrology of Sycan Marsh has been altered through channeling for irrigation. However, one project has attempted to restore this degraded habitat.

This project involved the restoration of 8 acres of streams and floodplains in the southwest corner of Sycan Marsh. The project required the cooperation of several state and federal agencies, and was designed to increase the biodiversity of freshwater wildlife, enhance spawning habitat for salmon, restore the historic hydrologic regime, and maintain habitat for migratory waterfowl and marsh birds. Restoration ecologists removed levees and two water control structures and restored the function of stream channels.

The project began in 2009 and was successfully completed in 2010. Currently, the site is being monitored to ensure that the restored habitat continues to function productively.

More on Sycan Marsh: The Nature Conservancy. Oregon's Sycan Marsh Preserve