By Emily Davis
Have you heard? After five years and as many project phases, the Oxbow Mine Tailings Restoration Project is finally complete! This ambitious project on the Oxbow Conservation Area sought to restore a large area of the Middle Fork John Day River severely damaged by gold dredging in the 1940s. Project leaders from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs worked together with partner US Bureau of Reclamation to re-meander the river, reconnect it to the floodplain, restore habitat complexity such as side channels, and plant native riparian vegetation.
See photos and read more about the project on the Warm Springs Fisheries website:
If you’re local, you may also want to come out to the Middle Fork and see the project for yourself! The restored area is visible along County Road 20, but for a closer look, the Oxbow Conservation Area is open to the public. Directions and more information are here.