Blue Sky Habitat Fund

Pacific Power’s Blue Sky Habitat Fund provides residential and small business customers with the ability to make a difference in two meaningful ways. With this option, participating customers purchase and support renewable energy, while also helping to restore and preserve habitats for Oregon native fish, including salmon, through an automatic $2.50 monthly donation.

The $2.50 donations are given to The Freshwater Trust to restore habitat in Pacific Power’s service area. We coordinate use of Blue Sky customer funds and match their donations with grant dollars, creating an even bigger positive impact for our communities.

2017 Recipients

Bear Creek Riparian Restoration near Upton Road – Rogue Valley Council of Governments

Bear Creek, Jackson County, Oregon

Bear Creek, one of the most urbanized watersheds in southwest Oregon, is a priority watershed for Coho salmon recovery. This multi-phased project will involve removing invasive plants and planting native trees and shrubs along two miles of Bear Creek. The restoration will be within 21 acres of Jackson County and focus on the lower 0.5 miles of stream near Upton Road. The Rogue Valley Council of Governments will remove and control invasive plants and maintain new native plantings through the fall of 2019. Two bilingual, interpretive signs will be installed at the newly constructed park along the creek, describing its benefits and highlighting the partners involved.

Native fish benefited: Adult and juvenile Chinook and Coho salmon, steelhead and Pacific lamprey

Beeson-Robison Fish Passage Improvement Project – Rogue River Watershed Council

Wagner Creek, Jackson County, Oregon

The Rogue River Watershed Council will remove the Beeson-Robison dam to restore fish passage and improve access to three miles of upstream habitat. The Beeson-Robison diversion dam is located on Wagner Creek, a tributary to Bear Creek and the Rogue River in Jackson County. Adult fish upstream are not currently able to migrate past this dam under most flow conditions. During the irrigation season, upstream passage for juvenile fish is completely blocked, preventing over summering fish from reaching the coolest water in the Wagner Creek system.

Native fish benefited: Adult and juvenile steelhead and potentially ESA listed adult and juvenile coho salmon

Butcherknife Creek Culvert Replacement – Applegate Partnership & Watershed Council

Applegate River, Josephine County, Oregon

The Butcherknife Creek culvert is a fish passage barrier that prohibits access to more than two miles of “high value” Coho habitat during low and moderate flows. The Slate Creek watershed is one of the last sub-watersheds in the lower Applegate not affected by residential and commercial development. It provides habitat with high intrinsic potential, as described in the draft Southern Oregon Northern California Coastal (SONCC) Coho Recovery Plan. Blue Sky funds will help replace the culvert with a precast bridge built to ODOT, NOAA and ODFW fish passage standards.

Native fish benefited: Chinook and coho salmon, steelhead and Pacific lamprey

Sandy River Basin Habitat Restoration Project – The Freshwater Trust

Sandy River, Clackamas County, Oregon

The Freshwater Trust, on behalf of the Sandy River Basin Partners, will implement restoration actions to increase side channel habitat and floodplain connectivity on the Salmon River and Still Creek. The goal is to benefit federally listed spring Chinook, coho and winter steelhead in the Sandy River basin by accelerating the recovery of naturally functioning conditions within the stream channels and floodplain areas. Funding will support restoration of five historic side channels, construction of 28 large wood habitat structures, and placement of additional large wood in side channels and on stream margins. The project relies on active restoration techniques that are designed to be self-sustaining.

Native fish benefited: Spring Chinook, coho and winter steelhead

Past Recipients

Upper Sandy River Basin Habitat Project – The Freshwater Trust

Upper Sandy River Basin

The Freshwater Trust, on behalf of the Sandy River Basin Partners, will implement restoration actions that will increase side channel habitat/floodplain connectivity on the Salmon River and Still Creek. The project will support the reactivation of flow to six historic side channels, construction of 51 large wood habitat structures, restoration of two alcoves, and placement of additional large wood in side channels and on stream margins. The project relies on active restoration techniques that are designed to be self-sustaining. This work is part of a multi-year, basin-scale restoration effort. Native fish benefited: Steelhead, Chinook, coho and lamprey.

Alder Island Restoration and Visitor Access Project – Salmon Drift Creek Watershed Council

Alder Island

The Salmon Drift Creek Watershed Council is working with the Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge, MidCoast Watersheds Council, Ducks Unlimited, Confederate Tribes of the Siletz Indians, and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board to restore tidal estuarine wetland habitat for anadromous fisheries and other wildlife on Alder Island. The project will create breaches in a levee surrounding the Alder Island Tract and include channel excavation to restore 7 acres of diked wetlands to fully functional tidal marsh on refuge lands. Native fish benefited: Chinook, coho, steelhead, sea run cutthroat, and chum.

Bear Creek Riparian Restoration Project – Lomakatsi Restoration Project

Bear Creek

This project aims to restore degraded riparian habitat at the confluence of Lone Pine and Bear Creek. The effort will re-establish native trees and shrubs up to 75 feet from the stream bank and remove invasive weeds, aiming to restore the site to a more natural riparian condition with a strong tree canopy and layered understory. The plantings will shade the creek for anadromous fish, improving water quality and providing a diverse, healthy riparian forest habitat for wildlife habitat. Native fish benefited: Summer steelhead, fall Chinook, coho and lamprey.

Sheep Ridge Fish Passage Improvement – Grande Ronde Model Watershed

Lostine River

Co-managed by the Grande Ronde Model Watershed and the Nez Perce Tribe, the project would restore year round fish passage in the Lostine River by replacing the current fishway and diversion structure with a roughened channel. The existing diversion is a fish passage barrier affecting both spring Chinook and summer steelhead. The resulting restoration project will improve anadromous fish passage to 20 miles of the Lostine River upstream of the diversion structure and fishway. Native fish benefited: Spring Chinook and summer steelhead.

Upper Sandy River Basin Habitat Project – The Freshwater Trust

Sandy River Basin

The Freshwater Trust, US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management will lead the Upper Sandy River Basin Habitat Restoration Project on behalf of the Sandy River Basin Partners. The project’s goal is to benefit federally-listed spring Chinook, coho and winter steelhead in the Sandy River basin by accelerating the recovery of naturally functioning conditions within the stream channels and floodplain areas of Salmon River and Still Creek. Native species benefited include steelhead, Chinook, coho and lamprey.

Thompson Creek Habitat Restoration Project Phase 2 – Applegate Partnership and Watershed Council

Thompson Creek - Tributary of the Applegate River

The Applegate Partnership & Watershed Council will take on the restoration of another 2.63 stream miles of the Applegate River. This would be the second phase in the “Thompson Creek Habitat Restoration Project,” expanding the project’s total stream miles restored to 4.4. Thompson Creek has high potential habitat for coho salmon, yet it struggles with high water temperatures and other water quality issues that can be deadly to native fish populations. Native species benefited include Chinook, Endangered Species Listed Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast (SONCC) coho, and summer and winter steelhead salmon.

Main Stem Ash Creek Riparian Vegetation – Luckiamute Watershed Council

Ash Creek - Tributary of the Willamette River

The Luckiamute Watershed Council will restore streamside vegetation along nearly three miles of Ash Creek, a tributary to the Willamette River. Flowing through the cities of Monmouth and Independence, the creek and its floodplain provide important ecological functions, including flood storage and habitat for upper Willamette winter steehead and spring Chinook. However, historic clearing of streamside vegetation, encroaching development, and channel alterations have damaged parts of the creek. Native species benefited include spring Chinook and winter steelhead.

Fielder and Wimer Dam Removal - Geos Institute

Evans Creek - Tributary of the Rogue River

The Geos Institute is partnering with American Rivers and WaterWatch Oregon to remove Fielder and Wimer Dams on Evans Creek, a tributary to the Rogue River. Successfully removing these structures will restore unimpeded fish passage for migrating and resident aquatic species. Native species benefited include Endangered Species Listed Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast (SONCC) coho, fall Chinook, summer and winter steelhead, Klamath smallscale sucker, Pacific lamprey and cutthroat trout.

Bear Creek Riparian Improvement

Rogue River Watershed

The Rogue Valley Council of Governments, along with the City of Medford and numerous other local partner, is working with public and private landowners to improve riparian and stream bank conditions along Bear Creek. The project includes removal of invasive plants, installation and maintenance of native shrubs and trees and the incorporation of bioswales to treat urban runoff flowing through the newly planted streamside sites.

Lone Pine Creek Riparian Restoration Project

Bear Creek Watershed

The Lone Pine Creek Riparian Restoration Project will restore degraded streamside habitat along 710 feet of Lone Pine Creek in southern Oregon. Students from Cascade Christian High School will remove invasive plant species and plant native shrubs and trees, which will provide shade to the stream channel where there is none now. This stewardship program with high school students promotes community service and field-learning.

Upper Sandy River Basin Habitat Project

Sandy River Watershed

The Upper Sandy River Basin Restoration Project builds on years of significant habitat restoration projects on the Salmon River and Still Creek in the Sandy River Basin. Restoration activities for this year’s project include the reactivation of flow to seven side channels that are currently dewatered, restoration of two alcoves, construction of 43 large wood habitat structures, placement of 205 boulders and revegetation of streamside banks.

Zell Diversion Dam Removal Fish Passage

Umatilla Watershed

The Zell Push Up Dam Replacement Project restores fish passage access to forty nine miles of spawning habitat, avoids historic fish stranding and mortality in an irrigation ditch and improves habitat diversity and water quality for the Walla Walla River.

Applegate River North Bank Riparian Restoration

Applegate River

The project will address degraded streamside vegetation conditions on the north bank of the Applegate River by fencing and planning 700 feet of streamside vegetation. As part of a separate but complementary effort, another project to restore nearly 3,000 feet of streamside habitat on the river’s south bank is taking place.

Snake Creek Reconnection

Klamath River Watershed

The project will open up 80 miles of habitat by reconnecting Snake Creek to the Sycan River by constructing a meandering channel. Three miles of streamside fencing will be installed to prevent livestock from access to the new channel, while two off-stream solar watering systems will be installed to provide water access to livestock.

Rudio Creek Ranch Habitat Restoration Project

John Day Watershed

With the help of the Blue Sky Habitat Fund, Phase I of the Rudio Creek Ranch Habitat Restoration Project restored more than one mile of creek into its historic channel alignment, installed 70 large wood habitat structures, reconnected floodplain habitat and planted 13,000 native plants. With these major elements now complete, Phase II project elements include additional off-channel habitat enhancement, streamside re-vegetation and floodplain fencing to protect the restored areas.

Get In Touch

Have questions about the Blue Sky Habitat Fund?
Kimberlee Myers, Operations Director

Contact Kim