Disturbed Lands Restoration

There are two sides to disturbed lands restoration. One is the coordinated effort that staff botanists and volunteers dedicate to restoring an area that has suffered significant damage. The flip side to these efforts is why does damage occur and what effect does it have on the environment.
 
Three photos of disturbed lands that park staff are replanting
The installation of a new water-line, and road construction left areas void of vegetation. Botanists are raking in seed and replanting a native landscape.  NPS Photo

Disturbances

While Crater Lake National Park is protected federal land, it is not immune to human-caused disturbance. Impacts from activities such as road construction and infrastructure improvements create large barren areas. Before construction begins, native seeds are collected and plants propagated in the hopes to reseed and replant disturbed areas when the construction is complete.

Enthusiastic visitors often don’t realize their own impact on a landscape when they go off trail to take a photo or have a picnic in a meadow. Vehicles pulling off the side of the road destroy many plants. The biggest impact from visitors is the creation of social trails—unofficial paths that occur when person after person walks or hikes through an area, potentially killing vegetation and leaving an un-maintained trail.

 
Four photos showing seeds, planting seeds, transplanting and nursery plants
Reviving disturbed lands is a mult-phase project which includes: cleaning native seeds collected in the park, propagating seeds to plants, transplanting native plants into larger containers so they are bigger when outplanted, and planning to have adequate supplies for restoration.  NPS Photo

Restoration

Since 2013 the Ecological Restoration program has been protecting the Park’s native plant communities through restoration of disturbed sites. Restoration efforts include creating revegetation plans; collecting native seed; and drying, cleaning, and storing native seed.

Restoration efforts also include propagating plants for restoration outplantings; caring for propagated plants in the park’s native plant nursery; creating and using park-sourced compost to add organic matter to disturbed soils; broadcast-seeding disturbed areas with native seed; and outplanting propagated and salvaged plants into disturbed habitats for restoration.

 
Botanist is replanting a road shoulder.
Road construction and off-road parking disturbs many road shoulders that have to be replanted.

NPS Photo

Goals of the Ecological Restoration Program:

  1. Restore disturbed sites using site-specific, native plant materials and facilitate natural recovery and development of plant communities.
  2. Utilize appropriate site restoration techniques to improve soil health and enhance revegetation success.
  3. Monitor restoration efforts and use results of monitoring to inform management. Manage ecological restoration data to enable regular reporting of results and progress.
  4. Educate and inform the park’s visitors, employees, and partners on the park’s Ecological Restoration program and involve them in collecting seeds, conducting restoration outplantings, monitoring, and preparing sites for restoration.
  5. Communicate regularly with park partners, including other federal, state, and county entities, and collaborate on ecological restoration.

Last updated: June 23, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Crater Lake National Park
PO Box 7

Crater Lake, OR 97604

Phone:

(541) 594-3000

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