Smith River National Recreation Area (NRA) Establishment and Implementation
Smith River Alliance organized and led the campaign for establishment of the NRA. Since passage of the legislation in 1990, SRA has worked with the U.S. Forest Service to implement the Act. Specific projects have included acquisition of the Hurdygurdy and Goose Creek inholdings (see below), removal of the Monkey Creek Dam, and protection of the North Fork in Oregon through designation as an “Outstanding Resource Water” and protection of in stream flows through the Oregon Water Resources Department.
Lake Earl Wildlife Area Additions
The Smith River Alliance, in cooperation with the Coastal Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Board, completed a program which facilitated the purchase of 767 lots in the Pacific Shores subdivision from willing sellers. Pacific Shores is a 1,535-lot subdivision located next to Lake Earl and Lake Tolowa in Del Norte County. As of July 2008, 767 lots had been acquired by the Department of Fish and Wildlife for inclusion in the Lake Earl Wildlife Area.
Mill Creek Protection
SRA was a key partner to Save-the-Redwoods League, California Trout, and other fishery groups in raising over $60 million for the acquisition of the 25,000 acre Mill Creek property, which was completed in 2002.
SRA has been a leader and key partner on a number of habitat restoration projects along the lower river, estuary, and in the upper watershed. Projects include the Cedar Creek culvert to bridge replacement, which has opened up over one mile of pristine spawning and rearing habitat to coho and other salmonids; and the Yontocket Slough Fish Passage and Habitat Enhancement Project in the estuary — nature’s nursery for fish and other aquatic species.
Mill Creek Habitat Restoration
SRA has partnered with State Parks, Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB), Save-the-Redwoods League and others to implement critical restoration projects on this 25,000 acre property. SRA secured grants for road decommissioning, salmonid habitat restoration, forest restoration, and other project components.
SRA secured permanent protection for the last large inholding (5,400 acres) within the Smith River NRA. Hurdygurdy Creek, Little Jones Creek and Siskiyou Fork watersheds once owned by the Agnew Corporation of Washington have been added to the Smith River National Recreation Area. The Smith River is one of the crown jewels of the National Wild and Scenic River System. The acquisition is entirely within the boundary of the 450-square-mile Smith River NRA and is surrounded by public lands, including the Siskiyou Wilderness, less than three miles to the east. Without protection, the land could have been subdivided. SRA launched a campaign to protect the land and transfer them to the NRA for long-term management and restoration.
Goose Creek Addition
SRA was a key partner to Western Rivers Conservancy, California Trout, and Del Norte County in the campaign to acquire the Goose Creek property—an important inholding in the Smith River NRA. Funding was secured to complete the purchase of this 9500-acre property on the Smith’s largest tributary for inclusion in the Smith River National Recreation Area (NRA). SRA worked with many diverse partners — at the local, regional, state, and national level to complete this project.
Coho Recovery Planning
SRA made it possible for non-governmental organizations to participate in the development of recommendations for the recovery of coho salmon throughout their range. Recommendations for the Smith River watershed help guide SRA’s participation in restoration projects in the lower Smith River and estuary.
Rock Creek Ranch on the South Fork Smith River
Acquired in 2002 to support education, restoration, and stewardship projects. In cooperation with Crescent City Afternoon Rotary, U.S. Forest Service, Redwood Economic Development Center, the Yurok Tribe, Del Norte County Unified School District, and local businesses — SRA began hosting a day camp each summer at the Ranch for at-risk youth.
Annual Summer Adult Fish Surveys
In cooperation with the DFG, U.S. Forest Service and others, SRA began hosting and organizing annual fish surveys in 2000.
Cal-Nickel Strip Mine
SRA worked closely with local public interest organizations, attorneys representing the public trust, and state and national organizations to block subsidies (through the Defense Production Act) for the proposed mining venture in order to insure that environmental laws and regulations would be followed.