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Biodiversity, Habitat Protection and Planning

Metro - Integrating Habitat Design Competition Results

Feb. 26th Metro hosted and event featuring the results of a habitat friendly development design competition. View the results.

Defenders of Wildlife - Oregon Biodiversity Partnership

Information and resources on biodiversity conservation in Oregon.

Washington Department of Ecology - Protecting Aquatic Ecosystems: A Guide for Puget Sound Planners to Understand Watershed Processes

This document provides guidance for Puget Sound planners, resource managers, and consultants on how to better protect aquatic ecosystems, such as lakes, rivers, wetlands, and estuaries, by including information about watershed processes in resource management plans and regulatory actions.

Metro - Wildlife crossings: rethinking road design to improve safety and reconnect habitat

The wildlife crossings guidebook is a tool that shows planners, engineers, developers, biologists and citizens a number of options for reducing wildlife fatalities on our roadways. The guide describes strategies for integrating fish and wildlife considerations into transportation projects through innovative designs on both new and retrofit projects.

Damascus Design Workshop

A project by 1000 Friends and the Coalition for a Livable Future to develop a model urban design for new communities in the Portland-Metro region.

Washington State wetland mitigation evaluation study, phase 2:

A 2002 EPA funded study in Washington State that found only 13% of wetland mitigation projects were successful. 55% of wetland mitigation projects were “minimally successful” or “unsuccessful.” No enhancement projects were fully successful and eight out of nine (89%) were minimally or not successful.

Conservation Where People Live and Work

A recent journal article in Conservation Biology summarizes the biological and social significance of urban and suburban conservation. “For a variety of reasons, conservation has tended to focus on lands with a relatively small human presence, often dominated by resource extraction and agriculture. Urbanization is occurring in numerous biodiversity hotspots worldwide, however, and has been identified as a primary cause of declines in many threatned and endangered species. Suburban and exurban growth are affecting biodiversity in many places once thought of as too remote to attract such levels of development. Conservation biologists must address the issue of human setlement to enhance the habitat value of unreserved lands for native species, to increase landscape connectivity between reserves, and to mitigate adverse influences on reserves from adjacent lands.”

Endangered by Sprawl:How Runaway Development Threatens America's Wildlife

According to this January 2005 report produced by the National Wildlife Federation, Smart Growth America, and NatureServe, the rapid conversion of once-natural areas and farmland into subdivisions, shopping centers, roads and parking lots has become a leading threat to America’s native plants and animals.

Green Infrastructure: Smart Conservation for the 21st Century

Introduces green infrastructure as a strategic approach to land conservation that is critical to the success of smart growth initiatives. Green infrastructure is “smart” conservation that addresses the ecological and social impacts of sprawl and the accelerated consumption and fragmentation of open land. This paper describes the concept and values of green infrastructure and presents seven principles and associated strategies for successful green infrastructure initiatives.

Riparian Bird Community Structure in Portland Oregon

(File size: 1 Meg)

A local study by avian ecologist Lori Hennings on native and non-native bird populations in relation to riparian habitat structure and spacial characteristics in the Portland-Metro region.

The Effects of Urban Sprawl on Birds at Multiple Levels of Biological Organization

This paper explores “the effects of sprawl on native bird communities by comparing the occurrence of birds along gradients of urban land use in southwestern Ohio and northern California and by examining patterns at the individual, species, community, landscape, and continental levels.

Changes in Riparian Vegetation Buffers in Response to Development in Three Oregon Cities

Changes in Riparian Vegetation Buffers in Response to Development in Three Oregon Cities by Allan Yeakley and Connie Ozawa from Portland State University documents the rate and magnitude of riparian corridor loss from urban development in Oregon City, Hillsboro, and the City of Portland between 1990 and 1997. Their future work will extend this analysis up to 2002.

Willamette Fish Study Minutes

The city and the National Marine Fisheries Service held the first of several workshops in June 1999 titled “The State of the Science of Fish Ecology in Large Low Gradient Rivers.” The workshop assembled a broad range of experts with experience about how salmon use large river systems. A key outcome of the workshop was agreement that the City of Portland should expect salmon and steelhead to be utilizing the lower Willamette River in the vicinity of Portland. The Willamette Fish Study was an outcome of the workshop and the preliminary results are available in the Willamette Fish Study Minutes.

Wetland Degradation and Loss in the Rapidly Urbanizing Area of Portland, Oregon

(File size: 3.7 Meg)

Documents a 40% decline in wetlands in the Portland region in between 1982-1992 and the need for regional inventories to prioritize restoration and protection, a baseline and planning process provided by Metro’s regional fish and wildlife plan.

Metro Goal 5 Scientific Literature Review

Metro’s Goal 5 Technical Advisory Committee prepared a draft scientific literature review to help elected officials, planners, and the general public understand the needs of fish and wildlife, the effects of urbanization on these species, and the biological processes that support them.

Technical Report for Goal 5

Metro’s technical report for Goal 5 (revised draft) provides a summary of recent scientific literature and studies relevant to the characterization, protection and restoration of fish and wildlife habitat within the Portland-Metro region.

Riparian Corridor and Wildlife Habitat Inventory Report

Metro’s Riparian Corridor and Wildlife Habitat Inventory Report provides summary information on fish and wildlife species in the Portland-Metro region by sub-watershed. This is a great place to find out what sensitive or at risk species inhabit your neighborhood.

Effects of Urban Development on Floods

Effects of Urban Development on Floods, a fact sheet prepared by the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) summarizing the effect of traditional patterns of urbanization that displaces native trees and soils in reducing infilitration and increasing the frequency and magnitude of flooding.

Recovery of Wild Salmonids in Western Oregon Lowlands

The Independent Multidisciplinary Science Team (IMST) for the State of Oregon recently released its report, Recovery of Wild Salmonids in Western Oregon Lowlands.

Riparian Areas: Functions and Strategies for Management

A recent report from the National Academy of Sciences, Riparian Areas: Functions and Strategies for Management, argues the restoration of riparian functions along our nation’s rivers and streams should be a national policy goal.

No Place for Nature

No Place for Nature: The Limits of Oregon’s Land Use Program in Protecting Fish and Wildlife Habitat in the Willamette Valley. This report by Pam Wiley was published out of the Defenders of Wildlife’s West Coast office in West Linn and is a must read for anyone interested in fish and wildlife habitat protection efforts in Oregon.

State of the Environment Report

The Oregon Progress Board’s State of the Environment Report written by a special Scientific Panel concluded that “key environmental problems… identified in the report (poor water quality, degraded riparian areas, etc) are most critical in the lowlands of the major river basins that Oregonians have intensively developed for homes, cities, farms, and ranches.”

Ecological Issues in Floodplains and Riparian Corridors

(File size: 3.2 Meg)

This July 2001 white paper by Susan Bolton and Jeff Shellberg at the University of Washington “examines and synthesizes the literature pertaining to the current state of knowledge on the physical and biological effects of alluvial river channelization, channel confinement, and various channel and floodplain modifications. It also examines and summarizes literature on the mitigation, rehabilitation and restoration of rivers affected by these human modifications. Data gaps in our current understanding of physical and biological process, the effects of human modifications, and appropriate rehabilitation or restoration techniques are also reviewed.”

Building better compact cities

Lecture by Patrick Condon, UBC James Taylor Chair in Landscape and Liveable Environments.

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