Mashel River

Mashel River 2016

  • Land Protected: 250.9 acres
  • Shoreline Protected: 3.9 miles of river mainstem shoreline
  • Protection Timeline: 2000 (1.3 acres); 2004 (64.6 acres); 2008 (10 acres); 2009 (25.8 acres); 2010 (50.1 acres); 2011 (75 acres); 2012 (4.7 acres); 2013 (19.5 acres)
  • Conservation Values: Fish and wildlife habitats including Mashel River mainstem, forested riparian zones, upland forest and wetlands
  • Property Overview:
    • The Land Trust has been partnering with the Town of Eatonville, the Nisqually Indian Tribe, and South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group on the Mashel Shoreline Protection and Restoration Initiative since 2000. Since early 2014, over 250 acres in and near Eatonville have been permanently protected from development. This reach of the Mashel is critical habitat for threatened Chinook salmon and steelhead trout. Forty years ago it was one of the richest steelhead rivers in the Pacific Northwest, with annual spawning runs in the thousands. Since then, the steelhead population has declined by some 80 percent.
    • The properties protected as a part of this initiative also provide an opportunity for development of Eatonville’s proposed Mashel River Greenbelt Trail, which will link the town center with the river’s spectacular Boxcar Canyon, an iconic landscape much beloved by local residents. A portion of the trail system, the Bud Blancher Trail, opened in 2014 and links Eatonville with the University of Washington’s Pack Forest.
    • This Protected Area includes portions of the Van Eaton homestead, thanks to descendants of the town’s founder.
    • Habitat restoration activities along the river have been led by South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group, the Nisqually Tribe, and Washington Department of Transportation. Completed activities include installation of over 40 engineered log jams to improve instream habitat and plantings to increase native tree cover.
  • Conservation Partners: Pierce County, Salmon Recovery Funding Board, Nisqually Indian Tribe, Puget Sound Acquisition & Restoration Fund, Private Donors, Town of Eatonville, and Forterra
  • Habitat Restoration Partners: Pierce Conservation District, South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group, Nisqually Indian Tribe, Salmon Recovery Funding Board, Puget Sound Acquisition & Restoration Fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
  • Property Guidelines:
    • While there are no parking lots or maintained trails on Land Trust property, individuals  are welcome to visit our property adjacent to Highway 7 and the Van Eaton homestead during daylight hours. All other portions of this protected area are closed to visits by the public at this time.
    • These properties are being managed to promote the most beneficial habitats for fish and wildlife species. Please limit your activities to low-impact recreation, such as bird watching, photography, and nature enjoyment.
    • Be sure to follow all posted signs; respect the privacy of neighboring landowners; and do not disturb or harvest plants, fungi, animals, minerals, or historic artifacts. All organized activities (e.g. school visits or tours) must be coordinated with the Land Trust at least a month in advance.
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