John Day River - Thirtymile Creek

Conserving habitat and public access on the West’s longest free-flowing river

Every year, boaters, anglers and hunters return to Thirtymile Creek by way of Thirtymile Canyon and the former Rattray Ranch. WRC's acquisition of the 14,148-acre ranch, with its 10,530-acre grazing lease, will ensure that the public continues to have access to the John Day River at Thirtymile Creek.

As the largest tributary on the lower John Day, Thirtymile Creek provides important spawning and rearing habitat for summer steelhead, which are listed under the Endangered Species Act. Looking downstream from a bluff above the John Day you can see Thirtymile Creek flowing into the main-stem on the right. (Photo by Dave Jensen)

The John Day River supports the healthiest run of summer steelhead in the Pacific Northwest. Western Rivers Conservancy's efforts at Thirtymile Creek will improve habitat for this federally Threatened species.

Pine Hollow Creek serves as the northern boundary for the North Pole Ridge Wilderness Study Area along the John Day River. WRC's conservation of Rattray Ranch improves access to this and the Thirtymile Wilderness Study Area, which lies just downstream. (Photo by Dave Jensen)

Basalt cliffs tower over the John Day along much of the lower river and make for spectacular scenery. The river's incredible vistas are just one reason the John Day is treasured by recreationists from throughout the Pacific Northwest. (Photo by Dave Jensen)

Thirtymile Creek flows through the heart of the John Day's best habitat for California bighorn sheep. An estimated 600 to 650 sheep inhabit the area, which includes the Thirtymile Wilderness Study Area to the north and the North Pole Ridge Wilderness Study Area to the south. (Photo by Tom and Pat Leeson)

Thirtymile Creek is a key source of cold water for the John Day River and important to Chinook salmon and summer steelhead, both protected under the Endangered Species Act. WRC's efforts at Thirtymile will allow for restoration and conservation of four miles of the creek. The acquisition will also protect 12 miles of the main-stem John Day. (Photo by Dave Jensen)

Asters bloom above the John Day River near the confluence with Thirtymile Creek. (Photo by Dave Jensen)