Monday, June 28, 2021

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management Conservation Work in the West Eugene Wetlands

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) works to protect and restore wet prairie in the West Eugene Wetlands in partnership with the City of Eugene, The Nature Conservancy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps. The West Eugene Wetlands Plan, created in 1992, formally acknowledged the importance of wetlands and set forth a plan to protect the unique qualities wetlands possess. Wetlands play a vital role in flood control and storm water purification and are also home to endangered plant and insect species, one of which is the Willamette daisy (Erigeron decumbens).


The Willamette daisy has been a focus in the West Eugene Wetlands for years. Over the past three weeks, I have gone out with surveyors from the BLM to count Willamette daisy populations at one of their restoration sites. Researchers from the Institute for Applied Ecology planted Willamette daisy at this site back in 2000 for a small experimental study to determine the best reintroduction method; plugs or seeds. Luckily, many of the transplants did survive and in 2016, the BLM planted more Willamette daisies. Since then, three more plantings have taken place at this site in the years 2017, 2018, and 2021. The BLM monitors Willamette daisy populations annually to see if the plants have grown and to learn how many transplants survived. Through this work, it is hopeful that Willamette daisy may one day be taken off the endangered species list. Currently, the Willamette daisy is both federally and state recognized as endangered. Since 2018, the BLM has planted over 11,000 Willamette daisy plants in the West Eugene Wetlands. The BLM manages 1,340 acres of land within the West Eugene Wetlands and conducts conservation work at many of its sites.


Past BLM conservation work has proven effective. The once endangered Bradshaw’s Lomtium (Lomatium bradshawii) was able to be delisted in part thanks to the BLM work in the West Eugene Wetlands. By participating in the Willamette daisy monitoring this year, I have seen the thoroughness and care of the BLM surveyors while out in the field. I am proud to contribute my time to a meaningful project that works to restore native species in the wetlands. The BLM of the West Eugene Wetlands has worked for years to enhance and protect our local wetlands and will continue to do so for years to come.


Article by, 

Ellen Thompson; Environmental Education Specialist with WREN


Christine Calhoun, Biological Science Technician, Bureau of Land Management

“Wetlands.” The City of

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