CAG Board Members

Michael Pouncil, Chair (absent)

Doug Larson

Sarah Taylor

John Marshall

Scott Burr, Tech Advisor

Caleb Shaffer, EPA

Laura Knudson, EPA

Number of Participants: 31

This meeting is recorded.

Portland Harbor CAG YouTube page. “Subscribe here” and at the bottom of the email. Now you have access to our monthly virtual meetings, forums, and presentations.  


Sarah Taylor: Land Acknowledgement (summary): The Portland Metro area rests on traditional Native sites. We thank the original caretakers of this land, acknowledge the systemic racism involved in the cleanup of the Willamette River. We are living on stolen land. Tribes will heal only when we understand the harms done and we promise to continue to learn and to honor, respect and take care of this watershed, all that it offers to all living beings.


  • Nature Plant Walk on the Willamette River Feb 27 at noon with Sarah Taylor at the fishing dock at Cathedral Park to look at plants and some areas of restoration.
  • Collaborative meeting next month, second Wednesday of the month.
  • Jessica Terlikowski, Communications Officer for City of Portland, BES. Willamette Cove Collaborative Working Group is looking for volunteers.

Guest Speakers:

Greg Archuleta of the Clackamas Chinook, Santiam Kalapuya, and Shasta, and a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Confederation

Greg is a Cultural Policy Analyst with the Grand Ronde Tribe. He teaches about the culture and history of the Tribes of Western Oregon, including ethnobotany, carving, cedar hat making, Native art design, and basketry. Greg has worked with Tribal elders, artisans, Confluence Project and many others to share the traditions, culture and history of the tribes that make up the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde. 

Mary Logalbo, Urban Conservationist of the West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District

Mary shared with us what they are doing to help restore this important watershed from the forest to the riverbanks and the long-term goal to be a part of the many groups working towards the healing of the superfunds in the lower Willamette River. This important resource has helped many homeowners, farmers, and forests to return to their healthy roots.  

Dominic Maze, Biologist & Environmental Regulatory Coordinator with City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services (BES). 

Dominic is a well-respected local botanist who has helped revise the Portland Plant List and coordinate numerous other restoration related projects and policy work within the City and beyond. ­­

Greg Archuleta Presentation

Plants, Indigenous People and the Willamette River

Welcomed us in his tribal language. His family’s ancestral fishing place is now under the Bonneville Dam. The February Moon is called “She is Going” – plants are starting to show themselves. Camas shoots sprout, an important tribal food. Other important tribal foods: red currant, indian plum, wild strawberries, wapato (now inedible from toxins in the water), acorns. Tarweed (wild sunflower), wild hazel, beargrass, juncus rush, ash bark, cattail and maple bark are harvested for weaving.

Greg Thanks this group for the work toward healing the river.

Mary Logalbo Presentation

The Place of Plants for the Plants of Place.

Water conservation, plant restoration, providing resource info, expertise for privately owned land that is farmed, particularly in urban areas. Past removal of native plants provide an important part of the story. They work with tribes for traditional knowledge about plants. Regulation of natural systems, medicinal uses, impacts of climate change, which places to harvest and to hunt. If plant systems are well-managed, there will be less risk of wildfire. Plants can help to monitor weather events. Use of native plants in landscaping – fewer maintenance needs. Get the right plants in the right place for restoration projects. We have worked with 411 participating landowners and have planted 30,486 trees. Partnering with CAG and Portland Harbor to increase community resilience to climate change int the Northwest/Industrial/Portland Harbor and most vulnerable downtown areas. Enhance, support, and create opportunities of all people.

Dominic Maze Presentation

BES, City of Portland. Revisited and updated the Portland Plant List and Lower Willamette Restoration. The list as a document was started in 1991 and included a native list, a nuisance plant list, an airport futures list. Some issues with the original plant list: some plants are misplaced on the list, with some inaccurate information. The revised list (link above) was designed and reviewed for accuracy and transparency. The first rule of ecological restoration is, “Do no harm”. We lost a lot of natural landscape when native habitat was eliminated. Sometimes we err with personal bias, planting what we know and like, rather than what will work. Oregon ash, a valuable species, is endangered, doomed by a beetle. Planting too much of these is problemati and will create a fire danger when enough of them are destroyed by the beetles. IPM, Integrated Pest Management – crews with herbicides spray weeds interfere with the native plants. 4 native species in Willamette Valley are now rare because of spraying.

Q&A for Greg Archuleta

Q: Some bulbs are inedible because of toxic materials – could they become useful as a reservoir for toxic materials, a contaminant removal process?

A: Yes, some wapato plants are absorbing contaminants.  We are using these as a restoration plant to draw up some contaminants. Might take 100 years to recover an area this way but we’re working toward that now for future generations. BES has done some of this.

Q: How do you designate what’s a weed and what isn’t?

A: From a tribal perspective, plants that aren’t native to the area. Balance of trying to find benefits in certain plants, whether or not they’re pretty. Blackberry is beneficial to wildlife, and invasive. What are people willing to live with? How to manage, balance.

Q&A for Mary Logalbo

Q: How do you designate what’s a weed and what isn’t?

A: regulatory planning in the past looked at economic benefits. Rethinking this now.

Q&A for Dominic Maze

Q: I’ve been reading online – the wisdom of planting native plants is beginning to change due to climate change. Those plants are less adaptive now. We need to redirect how we plant with climate change.

A: We’ve been in discussion about this. We need to be really careful. Some plants aren’t adapting to new conditions – do we get plants from the southern end of the range? Do we plant in anticipation of climate change? These plantings often are destroyed by pathogens and insects that are not found south of here. We need to be methodical and thoughtful about this. The conversation needs to be there, but we need to slow down, use caution with “assisted migration”.

Q: What is a good alternative to Oregon Ash for stream restoration?

A: It’s tough question – in the lowest gradient systems in the Willamette Valley ash is the only thing that will grow on river banks, in wet soil. White oak might come in if it becomes dry enough. We’ll probably see hawthorne, which won’t provide enough shade. They’re now planting douglas fir, cottonwood and white oak. Will these survive? Probably not, will have to be managed.

Q: How do you designate what’s a weed and what isn’t?

A: Any plant you don’t want growing somewhere.

Q: Are we overly ambitious in what we expect in our restoration sites? Should we calibrate to what’s more possible?

A: Great question. Depends on how old the expert is and how long he/she’s been working in the system. Particularly in an urban context. We should pick our battles, preserve what is rare and what benefits nature.


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Portland Harbor CAG
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Notes taken by Jane Terzis