With cooperation from landowner Rayonier Northwest Forest Resources, Western Rivers Conservancy bought one and a half miles of the Sams River on the south boundary of Olympic National Park, within the Olympic National Forest. This stretch of the river, near its confluence with the Queets River, is critical habitat for wild runs of chinook and coho salmon, winter and summer steelhead trout and sea-run and resident cutthroat trout.
This reach of the Sams contains unique off-channel winter rearing habitat vital for salmon and steelhead. In addition, the old-growth forests that surround the property offer habitat for two federally listed endangered species: the marbled murrelet and the northern spotted owl. The 89-acre parcel was conveyed to the Olympic National Forest in 1999, and now the entire length of the Sams is within public ownership. By avoiding logging of this tract, Rayonier and Western Rivers Conservancy protected the integrity of the river and the nearby Sams Loop Nature Trail.
Photo credit: Mat Millenbach