The Black River is an easy paddle through a landscape largely undisturbed by humans. With a lowland lake as its main source, this river shows a dramatically different face from others in the state, most of which are fed by melting snow. The Black River meanders through a vast, largely impenetrable swamp before becoming a free-flowing river, ultimately merging gently with the Chehalis River southwest of Olympia. The land on either side of its banks boasts one of the most extensive riparian environments in Western Washington.
Why TNC Selected this Site
In 1980, United States Fish and Wildlife Service identified the Black River as one of the most important fish and wildlife habitats in the state. It supports healthy runs of chum, chinook and coho salmon, as well as steelhead and cutthroat trout. The river is flanked by robust riparian vegetation, creating crucial habitat for an impressive variety of wildlife, including neotropical birds.
What TNC is Doing
TNC has assisted the US Fish and Wildlife Service with the protection of several parcels within the Black River unit of the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge. This includes the Black Lake Preserve, which the Conservancy transferred to the Refuge. TNC has also purchased key properties in the central stretch of the Black River. These parcels, combined with property owned by Thurston County Parks and Recreation, form a nearly two-mile corridor of protected river.