Beaver Habitat and Wetland Mapping Survey Campout 9/7-9/9/2023

Wetlands serve many functions- from biodiversity hotspots, water storage and filtration, aquifer replenishment, wildfire breaks and more. However, wetlands are also notoriously tricky to map, and you can’t protect an ecosystem you don’t know is there! Join us as we gather data about soils, plants and hydrology to assist our wetland partners in mapping wetland areas on Mt. Hood. 

Beaver habitat field days are moderate to high physical activity days with plenty of stepping over logs, wading into wetland areas and pushing through shrubs. We’ll collect data along 0.5-1.5 miles of the stream channel (when we have one) and assess our site for presence of woody debris, herbaceous foods, hydrology, beaver sign and more! Our beaver scorecard will allow us to rank the sites suitability for potential future beaver reintroduction. This data will then be shared with the Forest Service, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Institute of Natural Resources, Portland State University students and others.

Wetland field days are also moderate to high physical activity days with plenty of stepping over logs, wading into wetland areas and pushing through shrubs. We’ll walk the boundaries of our wetland maps to verify if the boundaries shown on the aerial imagery maps match what we see on the ground. To do this, we’ll identify wetland indicator plants, create data points for areas that are more wet or dry than we expect and do a thorough soil sample. This data is then shared with our wetland scientist partner Kyla Zaret to help her update wetland maps in the Clackamas drainage basin. This data fits nicely into the larger goal of estimating water storage capacity of individual wetlands in order to further understand the effects of climate change on these sensitive ecosystems.

We will all meet in Portland, OR at 9 am on 9/5 and coordinate carpooling to a secondary location from there. From the secondary location, we will caravan to the campout location which will be included in an email 2 weeks before the campout start date. Each day we will leave camp at 9am to conduct a full day of field work, planning to return to camp no later than 6pm. On the final day of camp (9/9), we will do a half day of field work before packing up camp and returning to Gateway Park and Ride around 6pm. Feel free to attend only part of the campout.  

This is an in-person event and will follow Bark’s COVID-19 volunteer work safety protocol.  

Before registering:Everyone interested in participating in Bark’s wetland mapping efforts is welcome! Please review Bark’s online wetland mapping training materials and online beaver training video before attending a field day. 

Questions?Visit Bark’s page on what to expect on a campout, what to pack for a campout and what to expect for a field day. For more information or email Meg, Bark’s Field Survey Coordinator, with additional questions. 

Join us in mapping a wetland area located in Mt. Hood National Forest and surveying for potential beaver habitat!