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 48. With healthy salmon runs, pristine headwaters, an absence of fish passage problems and no significant hatchery influence, the Hoh only requires enduring habitat protection along the lower river system.
Western Rivers Conservancy accomplished this when it placed, piece by piece, nearly the entire length of the lower 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 created a Recreation and Conservation Area between Olympic National Park and the Pacific Ocean. Along with the upper river, which is protected within Olympic National Park, the Hoh now serves as a sanctuary for its renowned runs of salmon and steelhead. Outdoor enthusiasts now have 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.
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.
Critical support for our work on the Hoh River was provided by 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, Mead Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Northwest Fund for the Environment, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Russell Family Foundation, Smith/Welsh Foundation, Wildlife Forever (MN) and Wild Salmon Center.