Since 1994, the Youngs Bay watershed has been identified as an important conservation area in the Lower Columbia River in a variety of biodiversity, wetland, wildlife and salmon conservation plans. The Youngs Bay area was identified in the Comprehensive Wildlife Strategies report issued by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (2005).
The Youngs Bay Watershed Conservation and Restoration Plan assists in prioritizing the conservation needs and opportunities for the Youngs Bay watershed from an ecological perspective and promotes the selection of acquisition and restoration projects that address critical watershed restoration issues. The ten-year goal is conservation and restoration of over 1,000 acres of Sitka spruce swamp, estuarine marsh and freshwater riparian habitats and 4000 acres of upland forest in the watershed through actions targeted in the plan.
The plan is intended to be a community-based roadmap prioritizing lands for conservation and restoration.
Read the Youngs Bay Watershed Conservation and Restoration Plan online (HTML), or download the Plan as a PDF.
Implementation of the Youngs Bays Watershed conservation and restoration plan is a long-term endeavor that will take many years and many partners to fully implement. Some of the proposed activities can be done immediately, while others may happen in phases. The ultimate goal is to reconnect and restore the bottomlands, riparian corridors and upland forests and to return ecosystem function to the watershed. Fee title acquisition and conservation easements should be a priority when landowner interest and funding is available. However, there are many other actions that can be taken within the context of existing land uses and ownership patterns. In the bottomlands, restoring rivers and sloughs to support a more natural hydrologic regime across portions of the watershed is another important long term goal.