We are excited and humbled to share that as of June 21, the Land Trust has met our goal of $513,000 for Resilient Rivers! We are sincerely grateful to the 169 (and counting!) households who have showed their support of healthy rivers in our beautiful part of the world. We are also grateful to the businesses, foundations, and government funding sources that contributed toward this goal. Our work is only possible due to the generosity of our community, and we are inspired by your support.
Over the last decade, our community has prioritized local rivers, creeks, and streams – from removing the Elwha dams to committing to the cleanup of contaminated sites along our shorelines and rivers. North Olympic Land Trust joins our community in prioritizing fish habitat because we know that healthy, productive habitats are key not only to fish, but also to sustaining the biodiversity of life on the North Olympic Peninsula. We are honored to be a part of this focus on preserving, protecting, and repairing our rivers and the habitats they support.
This spring, the Land Trust is working at three key riparian properties: Clallam River Conservation Area, Ennis Creek Natural Area, and Elwha River at Wild Edge Farm. The primary objective at each of these properties will be to protect, restore, and steward critical fish habitat. Read below to learn more about what makes these projects critical to conservation, and learn about the specialized stewardship that will be required for each property.
Your donation today will help us protect and steward these precious lands, forever.
Elwha River at Wild Edge Farm
Support the permanent conservation of a “wild edge” that includes some of the best existing salmon habitat in the Elwha River watershed.
At Wild Edge Farm, North Olympic Land Trust is working with a family-owned organic farm to permanently protect significant floodplain habitat along the lower reaches of the Elwha River. True to its name, Wild Edge Farm is dedicated to stewarding the rich diversity of habitat and ecosystem services offered by the vital edges between forest, farm, and river. The land ethic modeled at Wild Edge Farm offers a holistic approach to a culture of local food, regenerative land use, and community-building through love of place. This project is an excellent example of private landowners prioritizing habitat restoration and sustainable land use through an easement with the Land Trust.
This conservation easement will conserve priority #4 out of 117 privately-owned parcels identified as critical for spawning and forage fish within the Lower Elwha River and its tributaries. Other protected land in the lower Elwha watershed includes properties stewarded by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the City of Port Angeles, the US Department of the Interior, and additional conservation easements on private land. Each of these partners is playing a critical role in the overall story of Elwha River restoration – a success story that has set a tremendous precedent for environmental efforts world-wide.
Ennis Creek Natural Area
Help our community protect and restore “our last best chance of a salmon stream in Port Angeles.”
Located within the Port Angeles city limits, Ennis Creek Natural Area is a forested 5.2 acre site that represents a huge opportunity to help conserve, restore, and permanently protect an urban waterway that supports a rich diversity of native plants and wildlife – including great potential for salmon habitat in this urban zone.
As part of a larger story of community working together to protect this precious creek, Ennis Creek Natural Area shares borders with two other restoration projects. Directly to the south is a 46-acre conservation easement held on privately owned land, which has been actively protected and restored by the enthusiastic and dedicated landowners since 1998. Immediately to the north of Ennis Creek Natural Area, the Washington Department of Transportation is planning to replace an existing box culvert with a new bridge and stream grading that will improve fish passage under Highway 101. Taken together, these three project areas will result in over 3,350 contiguous feet of protected and restored creek frontage, with habitat that has great potential to support coho salmon and steelhead trout. Ennis Creek has been the focus of restoration and education efforts for many years, and the Land Trust is thrilled and humbled to add another important property to this vibrant story of community conservation.
Clallam River Conservation Area
Join us as we work to rehabilitate and steward some of the best habitat for salmon recovery west of the Elwha River.
In August 2020, the Land Trust purchased 69 acres of riverfront land near the mouth of the Clallam River and adjacent to already conserved Clallam Bay State Park. Due to its excellent estuarine channels, wetlands, and high fish use, this property was rated as the third highest priority for fish habitat conservation west of the Elwha.
Land management and stewardship efforts will begin immediately to restore and foster a healthy and resilient natural ecosystem. The Land Trust will be working toward the regeneration of a mature forest with many associated benefits to native plants, wildlife, and climate mitigation. Plans for the future include public access for walking, birdwatching, and contemplation of the power of nature to restore and refresh.