Life Renewed in Takelma Creek
We are overjoyed to share that Takelma Creek is once again flowing free thanks to the successful removal of the concrete diversion dam that has impeded its course for over 70 years. This accomplishment has been realized thanks to many months of planning and hard work, and the collaboration of many partners including SFI, local and state organizations, and federal agencies.
Takelma Creek flows through SFI property and adjacent BLM land, before joining Deer creek and flowing into the Illinois River. The 13-foot tall, 70-foot-wide concrete dam has long prevented Steelhead trout and Coho salmon from accessing nearly 3.5 miles of habitat upstream of the barrier. Thanks to its removal and the replacement of several fish-blocking culverts, including the one under Illinois River Road, fish are now able to access important freshwater feeding and spawning sites after their long migration from the ocean. This dramatically improves the strength and climate resiliency of these habitats, as well as the water quality in the creek and the waterways it joins downstream.
Dam site before (lower) and during (upper) removal project
Fish biologists removing fish to safety before beginning culvert work
Funding for the $1.1M project was secured through the partnership of and contributions by the US Forest Service, the Resources Legacy Fund, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the USFWS Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program, WaterWatch, the Rogue Basin Partnership, and PacifiCorp. Thank you to our partners at WaterWatch for their integral help in coordinating the dam removal agreement and plan, River Design Group for engineering and managing the creek and riparian area restoration, and Dietrich Construction of Grants Pass for their work demolishing the dam and installing the new water diversion screen and fish-friendly culverts.
Creek spilling over diversion dam
Creek bed restored to natural state
Restored creek channel leading through fish-friendly culvert under Illinois River Rd.
Welcome to Our New Board Members
All of us at SFI are very excited to welcome Cheryl Nelson and Sabrina Klein to our board! We're very grateful for the deep knowledge and experience of each of these women will be bringing to the organization.
Cheryl Nelson has lived and worked in the Illinois Valley on-and-off for the past 40 years. She is an alumna of Southern Oregon University, and her varied professional experience includes positions with the National Park Service, the USFS Rogue-Siskiyou National Forest, and the Medford District BLM. Cheryl currently serves as the Community Engagement Coordinator for IV-FROG, a wildfire resiliency collaborative sponsored by the IV Soil & Water Conservation District, and is a member of the Oregon Department of Forestry’s State Forest Advisory Committee (SFAC).
Cheryl is passionate about outdoor education, having written and secured grants for a variety of non-profit cultural and educational programs in the Rogue Basin, and is excited to join with the SFI Board of Directors to make an impact on conservation and environmental education.
Dr. Sabrina Klein was born and raised in Selma, Oregon, and her family has resided in the Illinois Valley for over 100 years. Growing up on Upper Deer Creek Road in Selma shaped her passion for preserving the beauty of the Illinois Valley, including the Siskiyou Field Institute, and her desire to give back to the rural communities that championed her success throughout her life. Dr. Klein graduated from Illinois Valley High School in 2008 and went on to attend RCC and transferred to SOU where she graduated with a degree in Communication Studies in 2013. Dr. Klein holds a Ph.D. and Master of Arts in Higher Education and Organizational Change from UCLA.
Dr. Klein has worked in education settings, including federally funded college access programs, for 13 years. As a rural first-generation student, she witnessed first-hand the need for increased support and advocacy for underrepresented students in rural areas. She has dedicated her career to increasing opportunities for rural people. She is a proud alumna of the Project Youth+ program (formerly College Dreams) and served as an AmeriCorps State and National Service Program. Dr. Klein is currently an educational researcher and is committed to making a meaningful impact. Her work aims to produce insightful implications that empower fellow practitioners, fostering more equitable opportunities and outcomes for rural spaces.
A Note from the Executive Director
Dear SFI Community,
As we find ourselves amidst the crisp embrace of autumn and the impending joy of the holiday season, I want to take a moment to express our heartfelt gratitude to all our incredible supporters who have made a significant difference with their support of SFI.
Every dollar donated, every hour volunteered, and every word of encouragement shared, has a profound impact on the work we do here at SFI. Your support has enabled us to reach new milestones, and for that, we thank you.
This season is a time of reflection, gratitude, and, of course, giving. As we approach this special time of year, we invite you to join us as supporter of our work here in the Illinois Valley and beyond. Our annual appeal letter is now available, and your support will help us continue our vital work in the coming year. We invite you to read the annual appeal letter and consider making a donation by clicking here.
On behalf of the entire SFI team, I want to express our deep appreciation for your support and we wish you and your loved ones a warm and joyful holiday season.
With gratitude and warmest wishes,
10 AM-3 PM
~ Waitlist Only ~
Learn how to safely identify and harvest local mushrooms! Discover key characteristics of typical species and acquire skill in differentiating the poisonous and inedible from the edible types, and enjoy expert field guidance and identification from our instructor on a trip to common fungi fruiting spots in forests of the Siskiyou Mountains.
With Mike Potts.
Thank you to 2023 Sponsor Roe Motors!
We're sending much gratitude to Roe Motors for being a long-time supporter of SFI and one of our 2023 Sponsors!
"Roe Motors has been serving the Southern Oregon community since 1983. We came here with the simple philosophy of taking great care of our customers and giving back to our community. We continue that same tradition today with our family owned and operated GM dealership. We appreciate our many customers who we have grown to know as friends. We are looking forward to serving you in the many years to come and also welcome your input on how we can serve you better."
~ The Roe Motors Team
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