Oregon Dunes Restoration

Oregon Dunes at the South JettyThe Oregon Dunes is a unique and dynamic landscape where moving sand is critical to maintaining native ecology and historic recreation opportunities. Rare plant communities and the threatened western snowy plover require open sand to survive, and it is the same open sand that brings thousands of visitors to the area each year. 

Non-native plants have been rapidly stabilizing the dunes, closing in much of the open sand and altering natural processes.  Action needs to be taken to restore the dunes before they are lost entirely. 

Restoration goals

Off-highway vehicle driving on the DunesThe Siuslaw National Forest and a passionate group of stakeholders are developing a strategy for tackling dunes restoration.

  • watershed councils
  • recreation groups
  • environmental groups
  • tribal representatives
  • community members
  • federal, state and county agencies

European beachgrass is overtaking the DunesThree primary goals have emerged: 

  1. Preserve/maintain the best functioning components (e.g. dune systems, plant and animal habitats, recreation activities).
  2. Restore site-specific conditions and processes (e.g. open sand, rare plant and animal habitat).
  3. Restore landscape processes and patterns (e.g. sand deposition and movement and resultant dune formations, open sand and plant communities). 

Additionally, recent surveys have identified a previously unknown population of rare coastal martens residing in the Oregon Dunes. Forest staff and partners will be seeking opportunities to contribute to the recovery of this species.School children hike across the Oregon Dunes

It will take a large-scale, long-term effort in order to eradicate the invasive plants on the dunes. Areas will need to be treated repeatedly with a combination of mechanical removal, prescribed burning, chemical application and more for a number of years.

Recent Projects

  • Overlook Dunes Restoration project - Designed to restore the unique view of coastal dunes from this popular recreation site, this restoration project has benefits far beyond its initial scope.

More Information

  • Ecosystem Restoration
    We're returning natural functions to altered landscapes, focusing on creating and maintaining healthy ecosystems: estuaries, old growth forests, meadows, coastal dunes.
  • Restoration Projects
    Find out more about individual projects on our Restoration Projects page