ODOT Pollinator Project
Background: ODOT manages 196 acres of vernal pool habitat for the purposes of wetland and listed species mitigation in Central Point, Oregon. Vernal pools are a locally significant wetland type that supports unique plants and macro-invertebrate communities, including three state and federal protected species: vernal pool fairy shrimp ((Branchinecta lynchi), Cook’s desert parsley (Lomatium cookii) and large-flowered wooly meadowfoam (Limnanthes pumila spp. grandiflora). The property is a mix of oak woodland, oak savannah and open prairie/chaparral habitat with vernal pools occurring throughout the site. ODOT began restoration and enhancement of the vernal pool basins, swales and mounds in 2011 and have fully restored approximately 150 acres. Another 50 acres of the habitat is slated for restoration over the next several years. Starting in 2016 ODOT partnered with the Bee Girl organization to monitor pollinators at the restoration site as an indicator for restoration success.
ODOT and Restoration: Every time a sensitive wetland area is removed to build a road, straighten a curve, etc., it must be replaced or mitigated. ODOT keeps a “conservation bank” where they are working to restore large areas of vernal pool habitat. Once fully restored, it will be donated to The Nature Conservancy to manage in perpetuity.