David Hogan, owner of Misty Meadow Dairy in Tillamook, Oregon, has agreed to restore and preserve over 20 acres of historic Sitka Spruce wetlands near Hoquarten Slough, to resolve a federal Clean Water Act violation.
In this agreement with EPA, Mr. Hogan will place over 20 acres of forested Sitka Spruce wetlands on his property into a conservation easement for permanent protection. In 2010, Mr. Hogan placed fill in approximately 0.14 acres of wetlands to construct a dairy cow barn. The wetlands were filled without a Clean Water Act permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. EPA and the Corps discovered the violation in March 2011 during a site inspection.
At least 85 percent of Tillamook’s historic estuarine wetlands have been lost to development. Protecting these remaining Sitka Spruce swamp wetlands in Hoquarten Slough will help slow this decline and support the ecological health of Tillamook Bay far into the future. These tidal swamps provide important rearing habit for native salmon and function as natural filters to keep pollutants from entering the Tillamook Bay estuary.
The protected wetlands will be managed by the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership and provide a natural link to the recently constructed Hoquarten Interpretive Trail. The Tillamook Estuaries Partnership is part of EPA’s National Estuary Project. The Tillamook Bay was designated as an “Estuary of National Significance” by EPA and the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership has been working since 1994 to restore and conserve the quality of the Bay.
Also under the agreement with EPA, Mr. Hogan will remove approximately 0.05 acres of fill and restore the underlying wetlands. Mr. Hogan has already voluntarily removed some of the wetland fill. However, 0.09 acres of the fill were not removed to allow for a dairy cow barn that is now erected on the fill site.
Construction or fill in wetlands can only be started after obtaining a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. These permits help avoid and minimize damage to wetlands and the surrounding environment during construction.
Sources: Environmental Protection Agency (Seattle – October 17, 2011)
Learn more about the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership’s efforts to restore and protect Tillamook Bay and Hoquarten Slough, at:
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