Mashel Ph 4 & Busy Wild Shoreline Protection

Category Overview

Conserving land along our waterways protects important habitat and helps keep our rivers healthy, clean, and more resilient to drought. Riparian Protection projects conserve and restore fresh and saltwater habitat while protecting fish habitat. In doing so, the grants help provide our families, farms, and fisheries with clean water across the state.

Project Highlights

Project 14-1480 achieved the goal of acquiring and permanently protecting 1,760 acres of timberlands and Riparian Protection along Busy Wild Creek, the headwaters of the Mashel River, which is the largest tributary to the Nisqually River. Busy Wild Creek is federally designated critical habitat for Nisqually Chinook salmon and steelhead trout, both of which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and a high priority of the Nisqually Chinook Salmon Recovery Plan and a highest priority of the Nisqually Steelhead Recovery Plan. All told, Project 14-1480 protected approximately 31 miles of shoreline along Busy Wild Creek and its tributaries and feeder streams. The project also protected approximately three miles of the most popular section of the Mount Tahoma Trails Association’s hut-to-hut cross-country ski trail, the largest no-fee hut-to-hut public trail in the country, which is used by over 3,000 people annually and is a major economic driver in the Upper Nisqually Watershed. This project combined grant funding from three state programs: the Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration program, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, and the Salmon Recovery Funding board. It also received funding from the U.S. Forest Service’s Community Forest Program and the Pierce County Conservation Futures program. However, due to a funding shortfall, the project’s final acquisition was reduced by 160 acres, through a scope change, and the purchase of those 160 acres was funded through RCO Project 17-1086.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: Nisqually Land Trust Category: Riparian Protection WWRP Grant: $1,100,000.00 Applicant Match: $407,285.00 Project Type: Acquisition County: Pierce Legislative District: 2 Status: Closed Completed RCO Project # 14-1480

Location Details

The property is easily accessed through a timber gate reached via Weyerhaeuser Road North, 135th Avenue, and 419th Street Court in Eatonville, on the north side, and from there over about one mile of well-maintained logging road. South of the river, the property is accessible from Alder Cut-off Road, by foot over a level one-mile trail (parking is indicated by the car symbol). The property is also accessible by car from Scott Turner Road, but these directions are best given in person. Both the north and the south drive-in entrances have locked gates. The Land Trust has gate keys and should be contacted before any site visit by car. The portions of the property north and south of the river are not connected and must be accessed separately.

What is the WWRP

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) is a state grant program that creates and conserves local and state parks, wildlife habitat and working farms. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office administers WWRP grants, and the legislature funds the program.