Local land conservation has continued amidst the many challenges faced by our community and planet. North Olympic Land Trust is pleased to announce the recent purchase of 69 acres of riverfront land near the mouth of the Clallam River, just east of central Clallam Bay. In a 2011 study, this parcel was identified as representing some of the best habitat for salmon recovery west of the Elwha River, with significant potential benefit for coho, chum, and chinook salmon as well as cutthroat and steelhead trout. According to Land Trust Conservation Director Mike Auger, “The permanent conservation of this unique property is very good news for salmon, trout, and other wildlife. With this purchase, we have an opportunity to make a long-lasting impact on the health of the wild species whose lives depend upon this habitat.”
Land management and stewardship efforts will begin immediately with the goal of restoring and fostering a healthy and resilient natural ecosystem. Initial tasks will include thinning around existing conifers and the removal of invasive weeds such as Himalayan blackberry, Japanese knotweed, and reed canary grass. With a balanced foundation established, new seedlings will be planted. Looking to the long-term future, the Land Trust hopes to foster the regeneration of a mature forest with many associated benefits for native plants, wildlife, and climate mitigation.
The Clallam River land purchase and initial restoration work was made possible due to funding support from the State of Washington’s Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration Fund, a discounted sale price from the current owner, and contributions from local donors. “We are very grateful for all of the different types of support that we have received for this project,” says Land Trust Executive Director Tom Sanford. “Our community continues to demonstrate a dedication to conserving the natural areas that make the Olympic Peninsula such a special place to live.”
Although the Clallam River Conservation Area is not yet open for recreational access, the Land Trust invites you to visit our four other conservation areas: Elk Creek, Lyre, Pysht River, and Siebert Creek. For more information on these areas, click here.
Clallam River photos by Courtney Bornsworth