North Douglas Betterment


North Douglas Betterment

Yoncalla Log Pond Management Options

Summary of Management Proposals as of 12/1/2015

1  No Action Alternative

Revert the property to original closed condition.  Public use would be restricted.  The ecosystem would continue its natural transition.

+/- Values:

+ The area would support a wide variety of wildlife.
 Minimal value to the Community.
 The blackberries and nutria would return.
– The risk of flooding at 4th Street would increase.
– The two large ponds would probably fail within ten years.

2  Primitive Wildland Recreation (Current Management)

Provide / maintain access for hiking and exploring.  Keep level areas cleared (available for special use events).  Maintain area and pond non-motorized at current management level with limited fishing / boating due to Brasenia vegetation.


  1. Opportunistically experiment with brasenia removal
  2. Encourage Volunteer help and Community collabration.

+/- Values:

+ This no development option would keep future management options open
+ Low Cost ~ $10,000 / year
+ The area would support a wide variety of wildlife
+ Provides pleasant respite for community members
+ Out-of-area visitors contribute to local economy.
– Limited fishing / boating opportunities due to brasenia
+ Opportunity to view wildlife and native vegetation
+ Opportunity to view historic lumber mill and RR sites
– Dike integrity is compromised and the dike is likely to fail.
Over $20,000 has been spent on dike repair since 2012.
+ Excellent pedestrian access – short walk to Yoncalla
– Potential issue with Main St RR pedestrian crossing
– Out-of-area visitors create “tourism” atmosphere
– Potential liability / security issues
– No long range funding / management
– Brasenia plants in large pond limit fishing / boating activity

3.  Ecological / Cultural Educational Resource Area

Maintain area as primitive recreation area with an emphasis on Environmental Education:  Proposal for Cultural / Ecological Education Resource Area

4. Improve Bass Fishery

The large pond is above the floodplain and is effectively isolated from the Umpqua River system (minimal risk of bass contamination during flood conditions)(Flood Map). This provides a unique opportunity to develop a warm water fishery.


  1. Partial / Extensive brasenia removal
  2. Power boats allowed
  3. Minimum to maximum facilities(docks, ramps, restrooms etc.)
  4. Use range:  Local to tourist

+/- Values:

+ Potential economic benefit
Increased fishing activity
Improved fishing experience
– Need funding for development and long-term management
– Management costs would increase over present level.
– Need developer and management entity

5  Conventional Park / Picnic area


  1. Motorized / non-motorized
  2. Local use / promoted tourist
  3. Day use / camping
  4. Provide / develop interpretative material (ecology / cultural / historic)
  5. Enhance large pond for fishing / boating uses
  6. Provide area for reserved special use
  7. Provide restroom facilities
  8. Develop handicap accessible features
  9. Potable water supply not developed

+/- Values:

+ The human use of the area would increase.
+ Opportunity for large “special use” events
– Need funding for development and long-term management
– Management costs would increase over present level.
– Need developer and management entity
– Reduction in “wild land” experience opportunities
– Need utilities / infrastructure

6  Wetland banking:

Wetland conversion may be an option for the large 34 acre pond.  Based on our understanding of the Department of State Lands program there appear to be two approaches to wetland banking.


  1.  Enlist in the DSL ILF wetland program.   DSL would provide funds for wetland conversion and maintenance.  The area would be managed exclusively for wetland values.
  2. Engage an entity to develop the wetlands and sell credits when there is a demand.  Typical market values are around $80,000 per acre. Total potential value if 100% sold: $3,200,000.

Note:  Public use could be permitted in the area if it doesn’t compromise the wetland use.  DSL requires that a minimum of 15 acres would have to be converted to wetlands. Non-invasive intrepretative material could be developed using GPS / smartphone technology.

+/- Values:

+ There would be an increase in local wetlands
Potential revenue source from sale of credits
Opportunity for education experiences – wetland ecology
+ Trails could be developed in and around the area
Promote site as regional example of quality wetlands
– Elimination or reduction in size of the large pond and associated benefits
 Future management options would be eliminated (ecological trust)

More details are needed to fully evaluate these options.  Note that the elevation of the pond is significantly above the surrounding streams and is about 40 feet above the water table (historically the property was an airstrip)  Simply draining the pond may not necessarily yield wetland conditions.

7. Wastewater Finishing

Yoncalla has a lagoon style wastewater system that is located about ¼ mile north of the pond property and the effluent from the system is discharged into Yoncalla Creek during the winter months.  The City has recently received about $2,000,000 for system upgrades of the WW system.  There may be an opportunity to use the pond to provide “finishing” for the WW effluent – similar to the Sutherllin / Ford’s Pond scenario.   More information at


  1. Class I effluent supply
  2. Class II effluent supply

+/- Values:

+ Possibility of a reduction in sewer use rates
Improved water quality in Yoncalla Creek
 Class II option may require public use restriction

8. South 20 management

This area has diverse ecology and has been identified as having high quality wetland features.  A primitive trail network has been established. There may be an opportunity to get some wetland banking credit.


  1. potential as a wildlife reserve and educational resource
  2. Possibility of wetland bank credit after enhancement
  3. Good opportunity to develop pond turtle habitat
  4. Good source for Camus

+/- Values:

+ Good location / access
High quality of wetland features
 In floodplain
 Limited public use potential

Submitted Plan Input

Susan Applegate (submitted 4/16/12)

YBC2_2005 (developed in 2005)

Notes on Visitor Management

Options that encourage outside visitors /tourists to the area could provide a basis for funding for operations and development as well as contributing to the local economy.  Special needs are restrooms and camping/lodging facilities:


  1. Rent / purchase the vacant lot next to Main St Espresso and maintain buck style toilets or install portable toilets across from Mainstreet Espresso.
  2. Promote boarding (B&Bs) in the community
  3. Identify restrooms in Yoncalla for visitors
  4. Developed campgrounds (on site or off site)
  5. Provide RV hookups
  6. Buck toilets on site
  7. Construct public restroom facility on Eagle Valley Rd

Notes on Zoning:

The 80 acre pond property is located in the Yoncalla UGB and is zoned “industrial.” The south 20 is zoned “FG” exclusive farm use. (Zoning)


Yoncalla Log Pond Management Practices

During the planning process there is a moratorium on any substantive development.  However, the following management activities are ongoing.

Trail Network

An access trail network has been developed. The route from Main Street to the large pond and around the pond is relatively cleared and can be accessed wearing street shoes or by bicycle. The remaining trails have been brushed out but may be partially blocked by blackberry regrowth. Hand pruners and appropriate footwear is recommended on these trails. Note: the trails near the streams may be flooded during the winter months. Also, be alert for poison oak.

Aquatic Vegetation Control

The “weed” in the large pond is known as “Water Shield” a common native aquatic plant (Brasenia schreberi). We are working with the Center for Lakes and Reservoirs at Portland State to find the best treatment option. Click links below for more information.


Friedman_Water Shield

More information than you want to know

Note that mechanical removal is effective and we have been doing that on a limited scale.

Current Blackberry Management

The pond property was idle for over thirty years and became severely overgrown with blackberries.  The current goal is to control the berries on the level ground areas. Repeated mowing in the areas shown appear to repressing the regrowth.

Vegetation Inventory & Management

A detailed inventory of the vegetation on the west side of the pond is being implemented by Wendy Stevens, a local landscape architect / botanist.  Inventory & Management Recommendations

Nutria Control

Nutria  is an invasive rodent that, since the 1970’s has been severely affecting the integrity of the pond dikes, water quality and local ecology. The nutria population has been significantly reduced through trapping and habitat modification (Nutria Control Report). Maintenance trapping is being done on a as-needed basis.  Please do not disturb the live traps.


Dike Repair

The integrity of the dike on the large pond has been compromised by nutria / beaver activity that occurred during the thirty years that the property was closed and unmanaged. (Dike Repair)

Flood Control

Beaver dams in the west side stream system have the potential to cause backwater to develop in the 4th St culvert located on Eagle Valley Road. This condition reduces the stormflow capacity of the culvert, resulting in flooding in the immediate vacinity. This condition can be aleviated by manually adjusting the heights of the beaver dams on an as-needed basis (Flood Management Report).

Annual Costs

Estimated annual costs for current level of management. Current funding has been with grant funds that is not sustainable over the long term. Volunteer labor, if available, can reduce the costs substantially.