Rock Creek Park Restoration

Rock Creek Park Restoration

Following a catastrophic oil train derailment and fire in June 2016, the City of Mosier joined Mosier Community School and Mosier Fire District in a settlement agreement with Union Pacific Railroad. Part of the settlement included restoration of the derailment site at Rock Creek Park. The fire from the derailed cars affected adjacent vegetation (mature forested area) south of the railroad tracks between the Mosier overpass and Rock Creek.

Total area of the burn was approximately 1.3 acres. Fire damage was mostly confined to under story vegetation, apparently as a result of timely firefighting efforts. However, at least 6-8 mature Big Leaf Maple trees and two Douglas Fir trees along Highway 30 were lost, as well as 16 other mature (100+ year old) conifers further to the south that had served as perching areas for bald eagles and osprey.

There is virtually no understory vegetation remaining in this area, except at the edges, and that consists of mostly poison oak (Toxicodendrondiversiloba). Probable lost vegetation, based on observation of adjacent areas, would include Ocean Spray (Holodiscusdiscolor), Oregon Grape (Mahonia aquifolium), Oregon Man Root (Marahoreganus), and Poison Oak, along with mature trees and saplings of Big Leaf Maple, Oregon White Oak, Ponderosa Pine, and Douglas Fir.

Project restoration elements included:
— New Historic Highway signage and public entry way
— New pedestrian pathways-Restoration of native butterfly and bird habitat plantings
— Replacement of large native trees-Interpretive kiosk describing tribal lands and fishing along the Columbia