The 1999 fire that burned Mt. Pisgah grasslands also benefited the site by eradicating poison oak. Similarly, the winter storm earlier this month both damaged and enhanced the Lane County arboretum. Tom LoCascio, Mt. Pisgah site manager, says the deciduous forest got hit:
LoCascio: “We saw a lot of tops breaking out of trees. It seemed like the oaks in particular took it pretty hard, and some of the big leaf maples as well.”
In assessing damage, LoCascio says, sometimes we consider only the individual species, the single oak tree,
LoCascio: “…but if you look a little bit deeper, you find that all these plants are part of an ever-evolving ecosystem. This was definitely a storm that thinned our forests, that is going to release other trees to their benefit. Fungi, some of the birds and animals and insects are also going to benefit.”
Meanwhile, at Veneta’s Oregon Country Fair site, situated on a 440-acre flood plain, operations manager Tony Clementi is waiting for the Long Tom River to recede:
Clementi: “Much of our site was and is currently under water, so our availability to get in and really do a comprehensive assessment of the damage has been limited.”
Clementi expressed confidence his volunteers will restore the property. He says the 45th Oregon Country Fair will debut July 11th and..
Clementi: “...by the time the gates open, nobody will know the difference and we’ll have a wonderful magical event.”
Mt. Pisgah's Locascio will lead a walk there Saturday at 10 to view the grounds. And volunteers are invited to an “ecological enhancement party” from noon to two to help with habitat restoration.