Coyote Spencer Wetlands

Why It’s Important

Located where Coyote and Spencer Creeks come together in the Long Tom River Watershed, the Coyote Spencer Wetlands contains over three miles of streams and 158 acres of mixed forest and wet meadows. The exceptional variety of native plants on the property can be found in few other places in the Willamette Valley.

Why protect wetlands?

Sometimes called the ‘nurseries of nature’ and compared to coral reefs or rainforests for the diversity of life that they support, wetlands are exceptionally productive ecosystems. Wetlands are integral to healthy ecosystems because they filter sediments from water and provide habitat for numerous fish and wildlife species. Wetlands also offer nesting or feeding grounds to more than half of all North American bird species and provide a home for an estimated 31% of all plant species.

Between 1994 and 2005, the Willamette Valley saw a net loss of 3,932 acres of wetlands. In the Long Tom Watershed, a significant percentage of wetlands were historically converted to agricultural use. Large, intact expanses of wetlands, such those that make up the Coyote Spencer Wetlands, are increasingly rare, showing what the historic, pre-European settlement landscape in the Willamette Valley may have looked like. Permanently protecting remaining wetlands like this can enhance stream water quality, buffer floods, and provide an essential home and refuge for an array of native plants and animals. Rare native plants including Bradshaw’s lomatium, Oregon delphinium and thin-leaved peavine have been identified on the property.