Work at the National Wildlife Refuge is focused on restoring the creek to its original shape.
The Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is starting a yearlong project to re-create the original curvature of Chicken Creek.
The creek, which naturally flowed into the Tualatin River, was constructed into a single straight line a century ago for farming purposes.
“When you straighten (a creek), the water goes a lot faster and carries a lot more sediment in it, and it doesn’t carry as much diversity in the channel,” Refuge manager Larry Klimek said. When it returns to its natural flow, he added, “It’ll slow down and spread out over the landscape.”
The construction will help create a natural wetland system on the Refuge’s 280-acre Atfalat’i Unit.
Klimek said he doesn’t anticipate water staying in the creek channel, because beavers will most likely come and dam portions of the creek, causing it to pond and flood.
“It just creates a whole lot of other diversity,” he said. “So now you have water influencing a much larger area than just one strip coming down.”
The construction has been a part of the Refuge’s comprehensive conservation plan since 2013.
Organizations like Ducks Unlimited, Friends of the Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge, Willamette Water Supply and…
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