Conservation Success Stories

The Conservation Commission and conservation districts integrate  science, technology, and effective strategies for engaging people into our  voluntary solutions. This helps us build community around conservation and  deliver multi-benefit results. You’ll find examples of these solutions—and  the results we’ve been able to celebrate with participating landowners and  partners—in these community success stories.

Salmon recovery Funding

Partnership Leads to Salmon Recovery Success

Resource Challenge

The removal of two dams on the Elwha River in 2011 and 2014 gave unrestricted passage to ESA-listed Chinook salmon, as well as other fish species. The dam removals left roughly 600 acres of former lakebeds to return to native forests. Large-scale plantings were done following the removal of the dams. However, harsh growing conditions — such as no topsoil — made establishing conifer trees, which are vital to providing shade and large woody debris for fish habitat, very difficult.

Project Summary and Results

Over the past two years, Clallam Conservation District and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (LEKT) have teamed up to plant conifer trees along the Elwha River, each bringing different resources to the table. Clallam Conservation District has a small staff, but a large volunteer program; LEKT has technicians that can work side-by-side with volunteers in the field. This partnership led to 181 volunteers helping plant over 6,000 trees along the Elwha River during two Orca Recovery Day events, as well as several smaller planting events, to help restore fish habitat in the Elwha Watershed.

Key Partners

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, Clallam County, Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC)

More Community Stories:

Mason Conservation District
Gosnell Creek Farm and Habitat Improvement Project
Full Story
Whatcom Conservation District
Kamm Creek Tree Planting
Full Story
Snohomish Conservation District
Strengthening the Resilience of the Local Farming Community in Snohomish County
Full Story
Jefferson County Conservation District
Chimacum Creek Flow Enhancement Project
Full Story