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Conservation Programs

Litter Patrol

Chemeketans participate in several practical, hands-on activities designed to help improve the environment.  Volunteers for our Litter Patrol pick up debris along 2 miles, specifically miles 58-60, of Highway 22 east of Detroit Lake twice a year.  Contact Betsy Belshaw (, 503-370-8789) for more information.


In another practical program, Chemeketan volunteers work on various restoration projects at the Audubon Nature Reserve almost every Wednesday morning from 9:00 to 11:00, followed with coffee at McDonald's. The Reserve is located on the east end of Eola Drive in West Salem. Our volunteer team is led by Lee Slattum.  If you are interested in participating contact Lee Slattum (, 503-364-9325).


One of the long standing concerns of the Chemeketans is the appropriate management and conservation of National Forest lands. We are regularly invited to provide comment on the management plans developed by government agencies for areas where Chemeketan members regularly hike, climb, backpack, boat and ski. The Conservation Committee keeps track of developments in the parks, forests and streams of Oregon that could affect the pleasure of Chemeketan outings. The Committee addresses those conservation issues that are of interest to members and initiates action, under council guidance, when and where practical. Members of the Committee work with the major conservation organizations and government bodies that are active in the Willamette Valley and Cascade and Coastal mountain ranges, such as the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, the Ranger Districts of Suislaw, Willamette and Mt. Hood National Forests, Oregon Natural Resources Council and the North Santiam Watershed Council.

Recently, the Chemeketans have testified in support of completing the Oregon Coast Trail. In past years the Committee has been focused on the protection of Opal Creek and its adjacent environment. The committee has also played an active role in responding to proposed developments at Silver Falls State Park and has provided input into the master planning process for this park. The committee will continue to monitor implementation of the Silver Falls plans and provide comment, if necessary, to assure the protection of the scenic and recreation values of Oregon's largest state park. The welfare of Opal Creek and Silver Falls are of major concern to the Chemeketans because they are the closest natural setting recreation areas to Salem. Also the management of Salem's watershed resources has been a recent focus and concern.


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