Program Meeting, Tuesday, October 23: Upstream, Midstream, and Downstream: Working with Living Rivers in the Upper Willamette Basin
A Presentation by Joe Moll
The Willamette River and its tributaries have been an economic driver for centuries.
Due to its rich resources, the river basin is home to about two-thirds of Oregon’s population, and will continue to attract people to the region in the coming decades. Inevitably, this influx is leading to more conflict over demands for available water, and more pressure on water that remains in-stream.
With settlement and development, demands on the river increased, and the health of the river declined. The loss of complexity and floodplain connections have contributed to decreases in native and increases in non-native fish and wildlife populations. Water quality declined dramatically in the first two thirds of the 20th century but has improved in recent decades.
How have we and how will we deal with these changes? And what impacts might we see in water availability, fish and wildlife health, and community development? This presentation will focus on the conservation work of McKenzie River Trust in the upper Willamette Basin, from headwater streams to the mainstem Willamette River near Harrisburg. The Trust is a part of a growing network of organizations working to protect, enhance, and restore river processes. This recognition of a Living River, or one that is free to meander and change course throughout the seasons and throughout the years, has implications for how we choose to live, work, and play in the Willamette Valley.
Joe Moll has been Executive Director of McKenzie River Trust since January 2005. The Trust has been active in river land conservation and restoration throughout Lane and neighboring counties since 1989. The Trust has been a core member of the Willamette River Initiative, a collaborative effort among private landowners, state and federal agencies, and non-profit organizations committed to river health throughout the Willamette Basin. Since February 2018, Joe has been an appointed Commissioner for the Oregon Water Resources Department.
Prior to joining the Trust, Joe worked in Montana for The Nature Conservancy; Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks; and the University of Montana. He has also conducted research and worked independently as a wildlife management specialist in Hokkaido, Japan.
Joe completed a Master of Science degree in Natural Resource Management at the University of Montana-Missoula School of Forestry and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.