Partnering to restore a crtically important reach of Catherine Creek for Chinook salmon and to restore floodplain habitat on the Umatilla River.
WRC and the Umatilla Tribe’s accomplishments came after several years of exploring riverland properties that would deliver conservation and land repatriation in eastern Oregon. In 2014, we hit on our first winning property and were able to return 545 acres along Catherine Creek (a tributary to the Grande Ronde and Snake rivers) to the tribe. Once in tribal ownership, the CTUIR undertook a massive restoration project to completely revitalize 2.5 miles of Catherine Creek—what was then the highest salmon restoration priority in the Columbia Basin. In 2021, we again partnered with the CTUIR to place a conservation easement on a property on Birch Creek, which will allow the tribe to access and restore critical wetlands and floodplain habitat at the confluence of Birch Creek and the Umatilla River.