USDA Forest Service

Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment


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Strategic Planning
and Resource Assessment

RP-E Rm 602
P.O. Box 96090    
Washington, D.C. 20090-6090



United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

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Forest Service 2003 Success Stories

Success Stories: Dinner Creek Dam Removal and Monitoring Research Project

We often think of building a success, but sometimes true success can be as easy as removing a dam.

The Dinner Creek Dam in the Layng Creek Watershed, built around 1925 as a municipal water intake for the City of Cottage Grove, Oregon, had not been needed since 1945. This 10-foot by 40-foot structure not only continued to block resident cutthroat trout from accessing two miles of habitat, but its presence had altered the sediment regime within the channel for nearly 600 feet upstream and 350 feet downstream.

So, what does it take to remove a dam? How about the Air Force Reserves, through their Innovative Readiness Training Program ! Yes, the Air Force joined the Umpqua National Forest , Oregon State University , Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research and the City of Cottage Grove as partners in this dam removal and monitoring research project. The removal of the dam, consistent with the Aquatic Conservation Strategy of the Northwest Forest Plan, will help the stream regain its channel connectivity and sediment regime within the entire Layng Creek Watershed.

Removing this barrier provides an important research opportunity to understand the change in water quality, to study macroinvertebrates, and to monitor how sediment moves downstream after a dam is removed. This research will be applicable to similar and larger-scale projects.

An added bonus to this project is that the Air Force Reserves had the real-life experience of removing a dam for their heavy equipment operator training.


[Photo]:  Shows a dam in a creek with water falling over the face.
Dinner Dam before removal.

[Photo]:  Shows the same creek with the dam removed and water flowing freely down a rocky slope.
Dinner Dam after removal.

USDA Forest Service - Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:19:04 CST

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