GeoDesign Knowledge Portal

Sandy River Basin Anchor Habitats Project

The convening purpose of this project was to bring all the entities (federal, state, local governments, watershed council, NGOs) together and develop a basin-wide watershed restoration strategy for the Sandy River Basin in northwest Oregon. The process was structured to focus on aquatic habitat and produce a collaborative stakeholder vision across all ownerships. This first phase of the project identified anchor habitats. These are distinct stream and river reaches that harbor specific life-history stages of four species of salmon and steelhead to a greater extent than the river system at large, are critical for the creation and maintenance of high quality habitat, or both. Three data sources were used: empirical data from existing stream surveys, habitat modeling data generated by the Ecosystem Diagnosis and Treatment model, and professional judgment from three local experts. Anchor habitat stream segments were identified for the four species, and these priority areas can now be used to help guide habitat restoration planning activities.

SDS Case Studies

Johnson, K.N.; Gordon, S.; Duncan, S.; Lach, D.; McComb, B.; Reynolds, K. 2007. Conserving creatures of the forest: A guide to decision making and decision models for forest biodiversity. Corvallis, OR : Oregon State University, College of Forestry. 88 pp.

Lessons Learned

Oregon, USA

Lessons Learned (No Longer Available)

Geodesign Case Studies

Environment And Ecosystem

Freshwater Resource Management

Geodesign Case Studies

Environment And Ecosystem

Freshwater Resource Management

End Year




Lessons Learned


Geodesign Problem Types

Impact Assessment

Site Search Or Selection

Tools/Models Used

Criterium Decision Plus (CDP)

Ecosystem Management Decision Support (EMDS)

Planning/Decision Problem Types

Making evaluation procedures and results explicit also made errors and omissions very visible (e.g., one dry reach got a high score); each error made people doubt the whole model, so careful consideration needs to be given to what is shown.

The DSS helped to combine different sources of information.

The DSS helped to structure an explicit approach to evaluation.

The DSS required some time and effort to learn, and so depended on interest and dedication of one of the individuals involved. (Without this interest, they probably would have used a simpler spreadsheet-based scoring procedure.)

The model enables future efforts to rerun analysis with new data or understandings.

Start Year

Sandy River Basin Working Group 2006. Salmon and steelhead conservation: an assessment of anchor habitat on the Sandy River, Oregon. Portland, Oregon : Oregon Trout. []


Geodesign Case Studies

SDS Case Studies


Sean Gordon

SDS Case Studies


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