Something So Beautiful
Dec 9th, 2014 | Written by The Del Norte Triplicate
With temperatures 10–20 degrees colder than the main stem of the Klamath, Blue Creek is a vital refuge for salmon and steelhead that rely on Blue Creek’s cold water for survival.
"As controversial legislation to remove dams in the Klamath Basin awaits congressional approval, the right to manage one of the river’s main tributaries and its most important salmon stream will soon be restored to the Yurok Tribe.
Using a complex financing scheme, the conservancy will receive and hold the latest parcels for a seven-year period before selling to the Yurok Tribe, which takes over land management from the outset.
“It’s an awesome feeling to know that something so beautiful is coming home,” Yurok Tribal Chairperson Thomas O’Rourke recently told the Triplicate. “We have for thousands, if not tens of thousands of years, successfully managed our land in a responsible way.”
Blue Creek pumps through the heart of more than a half-million acres once occupied by Yurok people before U.S. conquest began in the 1840s. As a sovereign nation, the tribe’s constitution calls for it to “reclaim the Tribal land base within the reservation and enlarge the reservation boundaries to the maximum extent possible within the Ancestral Lands.”
“Blue Creek is the very seed to the ecosystem. From there, we can grow it out again. We can use this to study and to learn from. It’s still very much intact, the way that it historically was, prior to the disruption by man and by logging practices,” O’Rourke said."