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 (SRF)

Partnership Leads to Salmon Recovery Success

Salmon Recovery Funding (SRF)
Clallam Conservation District

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:

Whatcom Conservation District

Changing the Face of the Landscape

CREP has changed the landscape in Whatcom County” (Wayne Chaudiere, Whatcom Conservation District). Riparian buffers, such as the one shown in the photo, now span along 132 miles of stream in Whatcom County, forming a panorama of native tree and shrub forests that were just recently open fields or invasive plant species such as blackberry.

Full Story

Success Story Snapshot: Tucannon River

Success Story Snapshot: Tucannon River. Voluntary, watershed-based effort leads to increased salmon runs.

Full Story
Mason Conservation District

Gosnell Creek Farm and Habitat Improvement Project

Mason Conservation District leveraged CREP funding to assist landowners along Gosnell Creek with making improvements to salmon habitat and farm practices.

Full Story