The Nisqually Land Trust has permanently protected two more properties central to the restoration of Ohop Creek, one of the two main tributaries to the Nisqually River.
They include 45 acres of floodplain and over one-half mile of Ohop Creek shoreline used by four species of Pacific salmonids native to the Nisqually Watershed, including threatened Chinook salmon and steelhead trout.
The Land Trust purchased the properties from two families with long ties to the Valley.
The Land Trust purchased ten acres in the lower Ohop from Marcia Berger, who has owned the property since 1983. The Land Trust worked with Marcia and her daughter, Cindy, to allow Cindy and her family to retain a residence on high ground while the Land Trust acquired the land along the valley floor.
The Berger property adjoins 90 acres the Land Trust purchased from the Pruitt family in 2019 and helps set the stage for the next phase of Ohop Creek restoration. Ohop Creek was ditched over a century ago to drain the valley for dairy farming. This had devastating impacts for fish, reducing the creek’s capacity for Chinook salmon, for one, by some 80 percent.
In 2015, the Land Trust, the Nisqually Indian Tribe, and a team of local, state, and federal partners completed the first phase of restoration, re-converting 1.6 miles of ditch back to 2.4 miles of meandering, salmon-friendly stream and planting 186,000 native trees and shrubs in the floodplain.
“We’re grateful to Marcia and her family for helping us to secure one more piece of the puzzle for the next phase of the Ohop Creek restoration,” said Land Trust Executive Director Jeanette Dorner. “It’s been a high priority in the Nisqually salmon recovery strategy for the last two decades, and this brings us one step closer.”
Further up the Valley, the Land Trust purchased 35 acres from the Litzenberger family that include over 2,200 feet of Ohop Creek shoreline along the heart of the creek’s salmon-spawning beds.
The purchase secures the property for floodplain restoration and eliminates development of up to 37 residences, which would have severely impacted the spawning grounds. The Land Trust will continue to lease a home to a young family with a small livestock operation on a portion of the property outside the floodplain.
Funding partners for the two purchases include the state’s Streamflow Restoration and Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration programs and the Nisqually Delta Environmental Mitigation Trust.
For more information, please contact Nisqually Land Trust Executive Director Jeanette Dorner: (360) 489-3400 x105; email@example.com
The above was provided by the Nisqually Land Trust.
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