It’s official: Western Rivers Conservancy purchased the last piece of unprotected land along Arizona’s Fossil Creek, a tributary to the Verde River and one of only two Wild and Scenic Rivers in the state. WRC intends to convey the property to the Coconino National Forest for inclusion and protection within the Wild and Scenic River corridor, affording these vital riverlands one of the best protections a river can get.
The lowland forests and wetlands of the Willamette Basin are one of the most remarkable ecosystems in Oregon. These increasingly rare forests are so lush and rich with bird and insect life that, on a warm day, you could almost mistake them for the tropics. But alas, this is Oregon. And if you were to find yourself on WRC’s newest Willamette Valley conservation project, you’d be in just such a forest, on the North Santiam River, less than an hour from the state capitol.
Expanding a 20-year conservation effort that has protected 17 miles of Oregon’s Sandy, Little Sandy, Bull Run and Salmon Rivers, in July WRC will purchase a 120-acre tract of forest along Little Joe Creek, a coho and steelhead-bearing tributary to the Sandy. It’s a great project for fish and creates a buffer of protected forest along a stretch of the Sandy Ridge Mountain Bike Trail, the country’s largest trail system built specifically for mountain bikes.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, one of the founders of the modern-day craft brewing industry, has for years been an unwavering supporter of WRC and our efforts to save outstanding rivers across the West. This spring, the Chico, California-based brewer released River Ryed, a limited edition IPA brewed specially for WRC to support our work on the West’s most outstanding rivers, including Idaho’s Salmon River.
Western Rivers Conservancy pushed ahead this month in our effort to create a major cold-water salmon sanctuary in the heart of the Klamath-Siskiyou, one of the earth’s biodiversity hotspots. We successfully completed our third land acquisition on the Klamath River and Blue Creek, which brings us three-quarters of the way toward conserving 47,000 acres in partnership with the Yurok, California’s largest Native American tribe. The acquisition adds 6,479 acres of vital forest and riverland to the Blue Creek Salmon Sanctuary, as well as extensive forestland to the recently created Yurok Tribal Community Forest.