In the northern Sierra Nevada foothills, precious few rivers hold the hope of restoring endangered salmon and steelhead in the Sacramento River system. Among them is Deer Creek, which flows nearly pristine from the northern Sierra Nevada foothills to the Sacramento Valley. Deer Creek is significant for its dam-free length, undeveloped stretches, breathtaking scenery and healthy fish and wildlife. One of the top three streams in the Sierras for aquatic life, Deer Creek is a rarity in California for its strong runs of steelhead and spring Chinook. Western Rivers Conservancy conserved a vital link along Deer Creek within the Lassen National Forest by purchasing 600 acres along the river from Sierra Pacific Industries. The property includes Lower Deer Creek falls, a breathtaking cascade that typifies the rugged beauty of the region.
With hiking access off of Highway 32, the property contains a significant segment of the Deer Creek Trail, which leads to the waterfall. Conserving this land will enhance opportunities to hike, backpack and explore the area's network of trails, from the high country to the valley floor.
In 2012, We conveyed the property to the Northern California Regional Land Trust, which now stewards the lands for conservation, public access and the sake of the area's unique fish and wildlife. Western Rivers Conservancy's acquisition along Deer Creek filled a gap in an otherwise protected fish and wildlife habitat corridor between the Lassen National Forest and Ishi Wilderness, in addition to enhancing public recreational access to hiking trails, waterfalls, and whitewater boating.
Critical support for our work on Deer Creek was provided by the Heller Charitable and & Educational Fund, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Sierra Nevada Conservancy and Weeden Foundation.