2015 - A Year of River Conservation

Looking back at all you helped us accomplish last year.

Oregon’s John Day River is the longest free-flowing river west of the Rockies and one of the West’s great natural and recreational treasures. WRC has committed to conserving this great river and its vital cold-water tributaries. Last year, we purchased the Rattray Ranch at Thirtymile Creek to conserve 12 miles of the main-stem John Day and four miles of Thirtymile Creek. Our effort will ensure access to a key boating put-in and to the Thirtymile and North Pole Ridge Wilderness Study Areas. The effort follows our creation of Cottonwood Canyon State Park which forever conserved 16 miles of the John Day. Photo by Dave Jensen.

In December, WRC conveyed 2,440 acres along Washington’s Big Sheep Creek to the Colville National Forest, a project that forever protects prime habitat within one of the West’s major wildlife corridors—and ensures access to over two miles of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. Photo by Dave Jensen.

In 2015, Western Rivers Conservancy added 7,041 acres to the 47,000-acre Blue Creek Salmon Sanctuary and Tribal Community Forest that we are creating in the heart of the redwoods on California’s Klamath River. Our partner in this effort is the Yurok Tribe, which will care for the lands and manage them for the sake of fish, wildlife and old-growth forests. Photo by Peter Marbach.

Last summer, WRC committed to purchase 211 critical acres of riverfront and old-growth forest along the majestic North Umpqua River in Oregon. Our purchase of the lands will conserve prime fish and wildlife habitat and secure public access to the westernmost trailhead on the North Umpqua Trail, a recreational treasure that flanks 79 miles of the river. Photo by Loren Irving.

In 2015, Western Rivers Conservancy made tremendous headway in its efforts to protect fish and wildlife habitat and improve public access on the upper Rio Grande. We signed an option to purchase 16,707 acres along four miles of the upper river in Colorado and committed to purchase another 90 acres upriver. Photo by Russ Schnitzer.

Arizona's Fossil Creek is a major tributary to the Verde River and one of only two Wild and Scenic Rivers in the entire state. In 2015, Western Rivers Conservancy purchased the last unprotected land within the Fossil Creek Wild and Scenic River corridor. By conveying it to Coconino National Forest we will improve the integrity of the WSR corridor and minimize visitor impact on this fragile Southwestern treasure. Photo by Dan Sorensen.

In fall of 2015, Western Rivers Conservancy completed a game-changing project for a key wild run of spring Chinook when it conserved 2.5 miles of Oregon's Catherine Creek, a tributary to the Grande Ronde and Snake Rivers. Our efforts enable a major habitat restoration effort by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and ensured more water will be left in-stream for recovering juvenile Chinook and steelhead. Photo by Dave Jensen

In the heart of the Mojave Desert, where even a trickle of water sustains life, Western Rivers Conservancy purchased four miles of the Mojave River where it flows above ground and creates a rare oasis in the desert. The effort will conserve Critical Habitat for the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher and prime habitat for numerous California species of special concern. Photo by Krista Schlyer.

Last year, Western Rivers Conservancy forever protected an outstanding reach of the upper Yampa River in Colorado and opened access to 45 acres along a stretch of trophy trout water at the edge of the Sarvis Creek Wilderness. Our partners in this effort were the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, which now manage the lands for the sake of fish and wildlife and for public access. Photo by David Dietrich.

On Oregon's North Santiam River, WRC successfully completed Chahalpam, a project that conserved 429 acres of floodplain forest and over 2.5 miles of river and key side-channel habitat for salmon and steelhead. We are now continuing our efforts to protect more fish and wildlife habitat along this vital salmon- and steelhead-bearing tributary to the Willamette River. Photo by Tyler Roemer.

Project Facts



For project details, hover over the "i" in the lower left corner of each photo.