Tim Fiez is part of the University Libraries team that developed a comprehensive website about the Willamette River Basin.
If you want to know more about the 13th largest river in the United States, whose basin is home to more than 2 million people, you’re looking for the online “Willamette Basin Explorer: Past, Present, Future.”
The website at http://willametteexplorer.info provides a history of the Willamette Basin, analysis of critical issues, mapping tools, video clips, links to publications, data sets, and many more helpful resources. It also explores different development options for the basin, and offers information to help people better understand the implications of land management decisions.
The site was developed by the OSU Libraries as part of the Willamette Basin Conservation Project, a two-year effort to provide Oregonians with more information to help make sound, informed land management decisions.
The initiative, funded by a $600,000 grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust, is a collaborative effort of the Institute for Natural Resources at Oregon State University, OSU Libraries, the University of Oregon, Willamette Restoration Initiative, and Defenders of Wildlife.
“The Willamette Basin is one of the most beautiful and productive regions in the country,” says Hal Salwasser, dean of OSU’s College of Forestry and a principal investigator on the project., “but its population is expected to double in the next 50 years, and we face challenges with water pollution, sensitive habitats, endangered species, and urban development.”
The web project builds on a research effort by the Pacific Northwest Ecosystem Research Consortium, a joint project of the Environmental Protection Agency, OSU, and the U of O. The OSU Libraries and the Institute for Natural Resources plan to use this site as a model for providing similar information to other areas in Oregon.