At today’s LIVE annual meeting of northwest winegrowers in Newberg, Oregon, we presented our 2019 Hero of Salmon award to Lisa and Gene Bennett of the Willamette Valley’s Bennett Vineyards for exceptional work to improve water quality, fish passage, and habitat in Bear Creek, a tributary to the Long Tom River near Eugene.

Bennet Vineyards has partnered with Long Tom Watershed Council in this longterm restoration effort with current work focused on installation of log jams in the creek to improve stream function and habitat complexity. The winery also is re-establishing riparian forest and oak-ponderosa woodland across 16 acres. Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board has been a key funder of the restoration activities.

Constructed from a reclaimed Oregon highway sign, the Hero of Salmon wall mountable salmon sculpture is awarded each year to a Pacific Northwest vineyard for exceptional conservation of biodiversity. Bennett’s 85-acre farm and estate vineyard is Salmon-Safe certified through our partnership with winegrower certification initiative LIVE.