Ohop Creek

Middle Ohop Creek

  • Land Protected: 475.2 acres
  • Shoreline Protected: 6.3 miles of Ohop Creek shoreline
  • Protection Timeline: 2001 (96 acres); 2002 (53 acres); 2003 (6.4 acres); 2005 (2.8 acres); 2006 (73.9 acres); 2008 (39.9 acres); 2012 (111.3 acres); 2013 (10.6 acres); 2014 (16.4 acres); 2015 (35.3 acres); 2016 (32 acres)
  • Conservation Values: Fish and wildlife habitats, including tributary streams, floodplain and wetlands, riparian forest and upland forest
  • Property Overview:
    • Ohop Creek runs through the heart of the Ohop Valley and is a key salmon-producing tributary of the Nisqually River.  After the valley was settled by Scandinavian farmers in the late 1800s, the land was dramatically and rapidly transformed.  The settlers converted the densely forested wetland mosaic in the valley to pastures and farm fields. They rerouted part of Upper Ohop Creek to the Puyallup River and channelized over four miles of the lower reach along the eastern edge of the valley. The alteration of the creek’s natural meander and loss of forest cover in the valley compromised the creek’s ability to provide high quality habitat for salmon. Restoring Ohop Creek was identified as a high priority in the Nisqually Chinook Recovery Plan in 2001.
    • For more than 15 years the Land Trust has worked closely with Ohop Valley landowners interested in protecting their land and with habitat restoration partners. The initial phases of Lower Ohop Valley Restoration Project, an intensive channel and floodplain restoration project, started in 2009 and were completed in 2017. These activities include removing derelict structures, eradicating invasive plant species, replanting over 180 acres in the floodplain with native trees and shrubs, and realigning over two miles of Ohop Creek to mimic its meandering, pre-settlement location in the center of the valley. These activities will enhance water quality, instream habitat for many aquatic species, including salmon and trout, and floodplain habitats that are utilized by a wide variety of wildlife. Visit ohopcreek.org to learn more about the restoration activities.
    • In addition to habitat restoration, Land Trust work in the Ohop Valley has led to a partnership with the Eatonville School District for the creation of the District’s Kjelstad-Burwash Farm STEM campus. Read more here.
    • The Land Trust is continuing to work with landowners in the valley, protecting lands that may, one day, be a part of the next phase of the Lower Ohop Valley Restoration Project, and areas upstream of the restoration project area.
  • Conservation Partners: Puget Sound Acquisition & Restoration Fund; Salmon Recovery Funding Board; Pierce County; Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife; National Fish & Wildlife Foundation; Nisqually Indian Tribe; Stephan Burwash & Family; Lisa Martin; Michael, Melinda, George, & Alice Grauwen; Harry Witt; Dennis & Sandra Lundgren; Jerri & Sally Eaton
  • Habitat Restoration Partners: Puget Sound Acquisition & Restoration Fund; Salmon Recovery Funding Board; Nisqually Indian Tribe; South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group; Northwest Trek; Nisqually River Foundation – Education Project; Pierce Conservation District; Natural Resources Conservation Service; Washington Department of Ecology; US Fish and Wildlife Service; US Environmental Protection Agency; many volunteers
  • Property Guidelines:
    • Individuals are welcome to visit the Land Trust property accessible from Peterson Road and Kjelstad Road during daylight hours; however, all other portions of this Protected Area are closed to visits by the public at this time.
    • This site is being restored to promote the most beneficial habitats for fish and wildlife species, so please limit your activities to low-impact recreation, such as bird watching, photography, and nature enjoyment. All organized activities (e.g. school visits or tours) must be coordinated with the Land Trust at least a month in advance.
    • Please note: There are no parking lots, restrooms, maintained trails, or other visitor amenities at this site. Follow all posted signs and respect the privacy of neighboring landowners. Please do not disturb or harvest plants, fungi, animals, minerals, or historic artifacts.
  • More information about public use of Nisqually Land Trust properties.

    Policy on Public Use of Nisqually Land Trust Lands (PDF)

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