Weiss Creek has a new buffer fence along her head waters off Big Rock Rd. and it’s happening on Leafhopper Farm! With the help of my amazing family, we got the last of this fence line up and stretched in a final two day push. We’ll hope to hang the gates this week, focusing on final tie downs and secure post settings in prep for a walk though with King Conservation District reps this summer.
In the fall, USDA will fund a restoration project to remove blackberry and knot-weed using glyphosates (Round Up) in a “spot treat” method for minimal exposure to the sensitive salmon stream. Don’t ask me how the county justifies using Round Up, but it does prevent continual re-occurrence of the invasive species in only two years. After the initial spot spray (they selectively treat each root base of every invasive established within the buffer zone), and then return to spot check again the following year. By then, native species will be planted throughout the habitat to restore native under story and establish new forest zones along the creek to enhance rain forest stands.
This stream buffer represents Leafhopper Farm’s commitment to habitat restoration and natural resource regeneration. It is very satisfying to see the space cultivating healthy soil and water for future generations. I look forward to the work still yet to come as we establish new native species and design a mushroom log operation which will allow access to monitor and encourage planted spaces within the buffer, while actively maintaining the buffer zone by continuing to prevent the establishment of blackberry or the return of knot weed from upstream.
Since we will no longer be allowed to use goats or other livestock to mediate the area, more direct contact with the landscape on the part of the land stewards will be required. By folding in systems of production, like material harvesting (willow for baskets) and mushroom log cultivation (approved agro-forestry within stream buffer), the engagement with this space will remain strong, if not more connected than ever before. This is how we invest in our land, and work to restore and enhance our habitat. Without weaving ourselves into the natural world through direct engagement, it is difficult to fully comprehend, or care about the place we live.
Leafhopper Farm will continue to demonstrate good stewardship practices in the foothills of The Cascade Mountains in Western Washington. The farm will also continue to offer tours and consultation regarding stream buffer, habitat restoration, and food production systems in our temperate rain forest environment. The farm offers a physically implemented and federally recognized buffer instillation in site as part of our demonstration practices. Please contact us- [email protected] to plan a farm visit, or for stream buffer consultation and planning with land steward Liz Crain of Leafhopper Farm.