The bend is back in the Wallowa River at the 6 Ranch near Enterprise, Oregon. For over a century, this was a straight stretch, but the ranch owners decided to sacrifice some pasture to restore the river to a more natural path in order to protect endangered fish. OREGON FIELD GUIDE, airing at 8:30pm on Thursday, January 19 on the stations of OPB, looks at what it took to help nature on a mile-long stretch of the river. Also a report on invasive species in the Tualatin basin, a special needs golf clinic and a wild bike ride.
Bending the Wallowa River - Craig and Liza Jane Nichols 6 Ranch at the foot of the Wallowa Mountains has been in the family for over 120 years. Liza Jane’s great-grandfather was among the first white settlers in the valley in the mid 1800s. Back then, the Wallowa River slowly meandered through the pastureland. Progress brought the railroad, then the highway, and the river was pushed aside and straightened to make way for their construction. But soon, the fish population started to decline. The water runs too fast in straight channels and wetlands and pools essential for fish habitat can’t form. The Nichols take their responsibility as caretakers of the land seriously, and when they were approached about a project that would put the bends back in the river but require them sacrificing some of their land, they didn’t hesitate to agree. FIELD GUIDE follows the project that put the bend back into a mile of the river and the hope that it will be a showcase and model for future restoration projects.
Invasive Species Rapid Response - Invasive garlic mustard and Japanese Knotweed are washing like a tide over the West Hills toward the Tualitan River. These two particularly destructive invasives kill native plants, cause erosion and, in the case of garlic mustard, change the nature of the soil. This report looks at how one Tualatin basin agency is reaching beyond their jurisdiction and sending foot soldiers out to beat back the invaders before they infest the watershed.
Golf Clinic - Enjoy a little time on the greens with some enthusiastic golfers with special needs and meet the man whose close call with permanent paralysis inspired him to inspire others.
Steep Hill Ride - See how two Portland men create an wildly popular bike ride by going out of their way to make it the most difficult ride in the state. Join 500 participants who, over the course of 47 miles, go up every steep hill in Portland.
Videos of the stories featured on FIELD GUIDE are available at opb.org/programs/ofg/ or watch entire programs at watch.opb.org.
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About OREGON FIELD GUIDE
In its 23nd season, OREGON FIELD GUIDE remains a valuable source of information about outdoor recreation, ecological issues, natural resources and travel destinations. OREGON FIELD GUIDE airs Thursday evenings at 8:30pm on the television stations of Oregon Public Broadcasting and repeats on Sundays at 1:30am and 6:30pm. In the Mountain Time zone of Eastern Oregon, the program airs at 9:30pm Thursdays, and at 7:30pm Sundays.
OPB is the largest cultural and education institution in the region, delivering excellence in public broadcasting to 1.5 million people each week through television, radio and the Internet. Widely recognized as a national leader in the public broadcasting arena, OPB is a major contributor to the program schedule that serves the entire country. OPB is one of the most-used and most-supported public broadcasting services in the country and is generously supported by 115,000 contributors.