The Hoh is one of the nation's great rivers, world-renowned for its beauty and host to thousands of outdoor enthusiasts each year. The Hoh also brings an unprecedented opportunity to protect and maintain one of the most important strongholds for wild salmon and steelhead in the lower forty-eight states. With healthy salmon runs, pristine headwaters, an absence of fish passage problems and no significant hatchery influence, the Hoh only requires habitat protection along the lower river system.
Western Rivers Conservancy's goal is to place nearly the entire length of the Hoh into protective status by acquiring the majority of lands along the lower River. Together with our partners -- the Hoh River Trust, Washington Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and with the support of Congressman Norm Dicks, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, and Washington Commissioner of Public Lands Doug Southerland -- Western Rivers Conservancy is working to create a Recreation and Conservation Area between Olympic National Park and the Pacific Ocean, serving as a sanctuary for the renowned Hoh River salmon and steelhead. Outdoor enthusiasts will realize a wealth of increased recreational opportunities and access along the Hoh. In addition, many species of wildlife will benefit from large-scale habitat protection, including listed species like the marbled murrelet, northern spotted owl, bald eagle and bull trout.
Since 2001, WRC has acquired and protected all of the major corporate-owned land along the lower 30 miles of the Hoh River, totaling nearly 7,000 acres. In September 2009, Western Rivers Conservancy conveyed the last 2,000 acres of these lands to the Hoh River Trust. The Hoh River Trust is a private, non-profit organization founded by WRC and the Wild Salmon Center in 2004. The Trust's mission is to act as permanent owner and steward of the Hoh River Recreation and Conservation Area for the benefit of fish, wildlife and people.
- WRC purchased its first Hoh valley lands in 2001, acquiring the Schmidt Bar property from Rayonier. This 757-acre property includes gravel bars important for mainstem spawning by Chinook salmon along with the lower portions of two key tributaries: Elk and Winfield Creeks. Schmidt Bar's old-growth stands are habitat for marbled murrelets and spotted owls.
- The second purchase from Rayonier, the 1,362-acre Spruce Creek Bottom property, contains the lower portions of five key tributary streams, nearly four miles of river frontage and one of the largest concentrations of known marbled murrelet habitat on private land in the Hoh valley.
- WRC acquired the final group of Rayonier properties in December 2004, including the 1,000-acre Hoh Oxbows property and a 90-acre parcel at the confluence with the South Fork Hoh. The South Fork confluence contains a broad swath of critical floodplain forest. The oxbow property includes the lower portion of an important tributary stream, Anderson Creek, and key boating access for Hoh River anglers on Nolan Bar.
- In March 2009, WRC purchased nearly 2,000 acres from Fruit Growers Supply Company, marking our final acquisition of corporate-owned lands along the main-stem Hoh River.
The Hoh River Recreation and Conservation Area now complements the Hoh's pristine headwaters within the National Park, creating fifty-six-miles of protected habitats and recreation opportunities from the interior of the Olympic Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.
Western Rivers Conservancy has received financial support for the Hoh River from the Paul G. Allen Forest Protection Foundation, Bullitt Foundation, Carolyn Foundation, Edwards Mother Earth Foundation, H. and J. Ferguson Foundation, Horizons Foundation, Charlotte Martin Foundation, G. and E. Mead Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Northwest Fund for the Environment, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Russell Family Foundation, Wildlife Forever (MN) and Wild Salmon Center.
Back to previous page