Many local organizations have been working both individually and collaboratively to restore the riparian area along Bear Creek and its tributaries for over 20 years. In early 2019, after the Peninger Fire, Stream Smart members including the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG) convened a forum of interested organizations focused on restoring the Bear Creek riparian corridor as a unit by identifying a list of priority riparian restoration projects. Through those discussions, the need for a meaningful dialogue to describe appropriate restoration actions along an urbanized stream became obvious across multiple sectors. We had to find common ground that provided a balance between a truly “wild” riparian area with abundant native vegetation and a “managed” riparian area that provides the wild components but accommodates public safety concerns such as fire and fuel reduction along with social concerns including the unsheltered population living along the Creek. The Bear Creek Restoration Initiative (BCRI) is a renewed effort that takes traditional restoration perspectives and adds a social and public safety component to the mix to address the issues facing Bear Creek.
Stream Smart members continue to work as part of the Bear Creek Restoration Initiative (BCRI) to restore the Bear Creek Riparian Corridor including the areas burned in the Almeda and Table Rock fires. Several Stream Smart programs including the restoration implementation programs of Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program and Stream and River Health tie directly into the BCRI work. A website has been created for the group focusing on BCRI activities. Click on the image below to visit the website. The BCRI holds monthly meetings the first Wednesday of every month. For more information contact Greg Stabach, RVCOG at (541) 423-1370 or gstabachATrvcog.org.