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.
The Whatcom Land Trust will use this grant to buy 990 acres along upper Skookum Creek, a major tributary to the South Fork Nooksack River. The purchase will protect 2.24 miles of Skookum Creek, adding to the 1,100 acres already conserved along lower Skookum Creek. The purchase will create a nearly uninterrupted protected corridor from the South Fork Nooksack River to its headwaters on Twin Sisters Mountain. Conserving the land will allow the growth of mature creekbank forests that will shade and cool the water for salmon. Finally, the land provides vital habitat for a range of wildlife including golden eagle, Nooksack elk, Townsend’s big eared bat, and the state-endangered marbled murrelet. The Whatcom Land Trust will contribute more than $2.2 million in cash, Conservation Futures, and a private grant.