The Smith River Alliance (SRA) has been working to identify high priority habitat restoration projects across the Smith basin, with recent emphasis in the lower Smith river and estuary — nature’s nursery for salmonids and other aquatic species.
In the mid and upper watershed, SRA has teamed up with nine motivated stakeholder entities and Six Rivers National Forest to launch a “Collaborative” initiative to advance habitat restoration, fuels treatment, and other projects across the Smith National Recreation Area.
The Collaborative has endorsed projects that include critically important fuels reduction projects to protect the Gasquet and Hiouchi communities, a “pilot” project of approximately 1000 acres of fuel breaks and forest restoration in the Little Jones Creek watershed, and a riparian habitat restoration project.
Completed restoration projects will enable more coho, Chinook, steelhead, coastal cutthroat trout, and other aquatic species to use historical habitat areas. Strong partnerships with private and public organizations are key elements of our approach. Mill Creek restoration exemplifies use of an array of restoration strategies. Potential improvements to habitat in the estuary and the lower reaches of the river are significant because of the tremendous role these areas play in the life cycle of salmonids.
The Smith River is a stronghold for salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout in California; at least five species in multiple runs use the river. It is unparalleled in its combination of natural river flows, protected habitat and healthy fish populations. The protection and enhancement of the smaller Smith River, the next major river north of the Klamath River is an investment that will help sustain salmon fisheries in California and will also help support recovery of salmon populations in the Klamath River. The need for forward thinking restoration is the key to ensuring that the Smith remains one of the premier salmon strongholds along the Pacific Coast.
The Smith River is often described as a “Salmon Stronghold,” however, restoration of the coastal plain habitats is a priority. [Learn More]
Mill Creek Habitat Restoration
Ongoing restoration work in the Mill Creek watershed is important to salmon and wildlife such as marbled murrelet, northern spotted owl and other species. [Learn More]