The Nature Conservancy and Rayonier today announced the sale of 3,088 acres along the Clearwater River in Jefferson County near the Washington coast. The Conservancy is purchasing a corridor along the river about 11 miles long and about a mile wide, with the goal of bringing salmon back to historical levels of abundance. Purchase price is $6.98 million.
“In this part of the world, salmon and forests and people are interdependent,” said Karen Anderson, the Conservancy’s Washington director. “We can help secure a healthy future for people and wildlife by managing this stretch of forest for salmon habitat.”
“Rayonier has been part of the Washington community since 1926 when we first began operations near Mount Rainier,” said Lee M. Thomas, chairman and CEO of Rayonier. “We’ve responsibly managed this forest since the 1940s, so we’re especially pleased to be part of this partnership to conserve lands in this very special part of the world.”
For generations, the forest has been managed for timber, supporting the local economy. While timber still remains an important part of the Washington coast’s economy, bringing salmon back to historical levels of abundance will help local cultures and the economy to thrive.
“These forests have sustained people for generations. Over the next century we will manage this forest so that it more resembles its former magnificence – and provides the habitats needed by wildlife.” Anderson said. “This is active conservation management that will provide jobs for generations and ensure that these lands remain accessible to local communities and visitors.”
“We support and applaud The Nature Conservancy’s visionary efforts toward ecological restoration of this area, which will partner with our own efforts to restore the declining salmon populations for our future generations,” said Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinault Indian Nation. “We know the Conservancy as a thoughtful land steward, one that will be respectful of our treaty rights, and welcome them as a neighbor.”
“The Clearwater is nationally recognized as a salmon stronghold by the North American Salmon Stronghold Partnership and Quinault Indian Nation,” said Devona Ensmenger, Washington program manager for the Wild Salmon Center. “However, its spring/summer Chinook salmon population is in serious decline and reestablishing the rainforest ecosystem is critical to bringing back healthy populations.”
Learn more about this project at nature.org/Washington.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.