Community News

Lower Nehalem Watershed Council speaker series

How do you restore tidal channels and wetland habitat in floodplain areas that have historically be diked and disconnected?

Join Lower Nehalem Watershed Council (LNWC) as we welcome Dick Vander Schaaf, Associate Director of the Coast and Marine Conservation Program for the Nature Conservancy, for a presentation on the Kilchis Estuary Restoration Project.

2016_oct_13_flyer_dick-vander-schaaf_kilchis-restorationLNWC kicks-off its 2016 – 17 speaker series on Oct. 13 by exploring the process of restoring critical habitat for native salmon in Tillamook Bay.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) purchased a former dairy farm in 2010 on the lower Kilchis River with the intention to restore the tidal wetland habitats that once dominated the site. The conservancy utilized hydrologic modeling to develop restoration scenarios for the project and to foresee impacts due to climate change.

This presentation will step through the planning and restoration process and discuss future work at the site. The project also has broader implications for wetland restoration on agricultural lands in Tillamook County.

Joining Vander Schaaf will be Tillamook County Community Development Planner Hilary Foote, who will give a short introduction to Senate Bill 1517.

Sometimes called the Oregon Wetlands Bill, it designates Tillamook County as the site for a 10-year pilot project to create a land use review process. It aims to engage county restoration and agricultural communities in exploring ways the agricultural use of high-value farmland can be preserved, in coordination with wetlands restoration and enhancement, to the benefit of the entire community.

SB1517 resulted from Oregon’s 2016 legislative session in response to the restoration work at the Kilchis Estuary Preserve.

Vander Schaaf provides leadership and oversight in coastal and marine projects that guide and support TNC’s conservation work in Oregon. He leads estuary conservation activities on Oregon’s north coast, coordinates the conservancy’s involvement in Marine Reserve implementation in state territorial waters, and is working on climate change adaptation as it relates to coastal conservation.

Before focusing on coastal conservation issues, Vander Schaaf directed ecoregional conservation assessment work for the Oregon TNC and led TNC’s effort at public lands conservation statewide. He has been with the Conservancy since 1983 when he was the Cascade Head field intern.

Vander Schaaf has a M.S. in ecology from the University of Oregon and a Masters of Planning from the the school’s  Urban and Regional Planning Department.

Foote is a Land Use Planner for Tillamook County focusing on farm and forest uses and the Project Manager for the implementation of SB1517. In her spare time she runs a grass-fed beef cattle operation in Nehalem with her husband.

Prior to moving to the north coast, Foote spent over a decade working in utility-scale renewable energy development and regulatory affairs.

The presentation will be held at the Pine Grove Community House, 225 Laneda Ave., in Manzanita.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments. The presentation will start at 7:20 p.m. following an update from Lower Nehalem Watershed Council at 7:00 p.m.

Event Information: Refreshments and snacks will be served. This event is FREE and open to the public. Find more information about the speaker series, visit  LNWC’s Facebook page

Date & Location: October 13th, 2016 at Pine Grove Community House (225 Laneda Ave, Manzanita)

Time & Agenda:

  • 6:30 PM Doors open – Refreshments
  • 7:00 PM Council Updates
  • 7:20 PM Presentation
  • 8:30 PM Adjourn