Ethnobotany Tour of Waite Ranch
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Photo by Tim GiraudierJoin McKenzie River Trust, the Siuslaw Watershed Council and Ashely Russell for an ethnobotany tour at Waite Ranch. Ashley Russell is the Water Protection Specialist for the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians. She is a Coos (Miluk) Tribal Member and an Oregon State University (OSU) graduate in Environmental Sciences with an emphasis on Fisheries and Wildlife Science. Ashley mainly monitors water quality on Tribal lands and helps coordinate restoration efforts. She also assists with environmental assessments for newly acquired properties. She is recognized for her knowledge of culturally significant species, including Tribal first foods and weaving materials.
About Waite Ranch:
Waite Ranch is about 3 miles from Florence, just east of the Cushman Bridge between Hwy. 126 and the Siuslaw River. Historically, the property was a tidal estuary made up of mudflats, marsh, tidal swamp, riparian forest, and possibly crabapple swamp (the rarest of estuarine plant communities). The property was homesteaded around the turn of the century when it was diked. It then became a dairy farm.
In 2010, McKenzie River Trust (MRT) bought the Waite property. MRT's intention is to restore it to its historic ecological state as a tidal wetland by re-establishing full tidal exchange to the property. The McKenzie River Trust has partnered with the Siuslaw Watershed Council to manage Waite Ranch's restoration.