Leaburg Demonstration Forest

The McKenzie watershed is comprised of 88% forested land, with a mixture of private, state and federally owned lands.

Advantages and potential threats

Forested watersheds, like the McKenzie, produce better water quality than any other surface water source.

However, some forest management activities can adversely impact downstream water quality including:

  • Aerial application of pesticides (greatest risk)
  • Use of chemical applications to improve the growth of best trees and remove any trees in their way
  • Road building and failures
  • Various timber harvest techniques
Protecting forests in the McKenzie Watershed

EWEB is interested in working with forest landowners to help protect forests in the McKenzie Watershed. The U.S. Forest Service owns more than 600,000 acres of forest land in the upper portion of the McKenzie Watershed, or about two-thirds of the total watershed. Approximately 188,000 acres are owned by private industrial timber companies, and another 70,000 acres by private non-industrial owners.

EWEB encourages best management forest practices that include adequate buffers on streams and tributaries, as well as reduced chemical use where possible.

We have several ongoing initiatives designed to help protect forests in the McKenzie Watershed.

Leaburg Demonstration Forest

EWEB is developing a demonstration forest along the Leaburg Canal.

Forest spray tracking

Learn where forest spraying occurs in the McKenzie Watershed.

McKenzie Watershed Stewardship Group

EWEB is in the early stages of working with the Willamette National Forest and a number of partners to initiate a "stewardship contracting" program in the McKenzie Watershed. Stewardship contracting allows the Forest Service to enter into long-term contracts to meet land-management objectives, such as reducing wildfire risk and improving forest health. Stewardship contracts on timber sales in the McKenzie Watershed would allow the funds generated from the sale to remain in the watershed to fund other restoration work.

Carpe Diem West's Healthy Headwaters Alliance

EWEB is an active member and supporter the Healthy Headwaters Alliance, which is a coalition of water utilities, elected officials, land managers, scientists, conservationists, recreationists and business leaders working to promote the health and resilience of headwaters that provide water security to communities across the American West.


Email us for more information, or call Nancy Toth at 541-685-7438 or Karl Morgenstern at 541-685-7365.