Conserving a Vital Link in the Northern Sierra Nevada
Dec 1st, 2011 | Written by Western Rivers Conservancy
Photo: Lower Deer Creek Falls. Photo by Cindy Diaz.
In the northern Sierra Nevada foothills, Deer Creek is a nearly pristine dam-free haven for fish and wildlife that winds through more than 50 miles of chaparral, blue oak groves and grassy hills. A rarity in California for its strong runs of steelhead and spring Chinook, Deer Creek is also one of the precious few rivers that hold hope for restoring the Sacramento River’s endangered salmon and steelhead runs. On December 8, California’s Wildlife Conservation Board approved funding that will allow Western Rivers Conservancy (WRC) to forever conserve 600 acres along this creek, including Lower Deer Creek Falls.
WRC purchased the Lower Deer Creek Falls property from Sierra Pacific Industries in 2009. Early next year, WRC will convey the land to the Northern California Regional Land Trust for permanent conservation. Bringing the lands along Deer Creek into public ownership will complete a continuous fish and wildlife habitat corridor between the Lassen National Forest and Ishi Wilderness.
Besides the property’s important fish and wildlife habitat, conveying this property into conservation stewardship will also enhance public access to the area’s hiking trails, waterfalls and whitewater boating. The property connects to a complex of trails, including the trail to the breathtaking Lower Deer Creek Falls.