The Wee Burn Stream Restoration Project
In 1995 The Resort formed a partnership with Wolftree and the Mt. Hood National Forest for stream enhancement and re-establishment of fish habitat along the Salmon River and its tributaries, including the Wee Burn which runs through The Courses at The Resort at The Mountain. While the Wee Burn had enjoyed coho and steelhead in its lower portion for years, it did not have a suitable habitat for the sustained survival of the wild fish due to it being channelized in the early 1900s when the initial golf course was built as well as the fact that in the late 1920s, three small dams were built to create irrigation ponds – thus preventing the fish from reaching the best spawning and rearing habitat in the stream.
In order to encourage a Salmon Habitat to return to the Wee Burn Stream, certain changes and improvements were necessary:
As a result of countless hours from volunteers and experts – including Mt. Hood National Forest, Wolftree, The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, CH2M HILL, Trout Unlimited, and the Mt. Hood Mazamas — the Wee Burn saw the wild Coho salmon return in large quantities in the late 1990s. The project also received multiple grants for various project phases.
The Wee Burn project is ongoing. An estimated $350,000+ has been contributed (both cash and in-kind support.) Half of the cost has been borne by The Resort at The Mountain.
Immediate plans include replacing two culverts to help juvenile fish passage more accessible to the Wee Burn. Salmon River bank erosion issues will be subsequently worked on. Informational kiosks will be created to help inform and educate the public about these restoration efforts.
Once the restoration is complete, long-term maintenance and monitoring will occur.
Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary
Extensive habitat restoration and environmentally sensitive operations have earned The Courses’ recognition as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Out of 16,000 golf courses in the United States, only 2,300 are certified, and 18 of those located in Oregon. Awarded in 2002, the certification was based on environmental excellence in five categories: Wildlife and Habitat Management, Outreach and Education, Integrated Pest Management, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management. Our Mt. Hood resort enjoys this distinction.
Current Environmental Projects
The Resort is currently implementing the Salmon River Side Channel Enhancement Project… another way to preserve and protect our Mt. Hood area natural resources. Floods in 1996 and 1999 caused dramatic erosion in this location that has resulted in a lateral migration of the river. This project involves placing around sixty 35-foot logs and forty to fifty 3-foot by 3-foot boulders into the side channel. The end result will be the arresting of further bank erosion presently threatening a buried sewer line that services many local residences, and better habitat for Coho and Steelhead.