Skookum Creek Acquisition II – Upper Skookum Creek

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

Whatcom Land Trust acquired 1000 acres in the Skookum Creek watershed, adding over 2 miles of the river to our existing 1200 acre Skookum Creek preserve. In total, the preserve now encompasses 2200 acres and 5 miles of Skookum Creek from it’s confluence with the South Fork Nooksack River to the confluence of Skookum Creek’s major tributary, Arlecho Creek. Skookum Creek contributes 21% of the late-summer streamflow to the South Fork Nooksack River, a 303(d) listed waterbody for low summer streamflow, temperature, and turbidity. This acquisition will allow for a significant portion of the watershed to be placed on track for becoming mature forest, protecting the year-round water supply from Skookum Creek. Whatcom Land Trust plans to actively manage the previously industrial commercial forest to improve forest health, reduce overstocking, and restore wildlife and hydrological functions of the forest. Through this grant, the land has been acquired, a forest management plan has been created, and noxious weed removal has been initiated. Whatcom Land Trust has invested money in our Stewardship Reserve Fund to ensure resources for long-term management.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: Whatcom Land Trust Category: Riparian Protection WWRP Grant: $837,053.59 Applicant Match: $2,169,642.87 Project Type: Acquisition County: Whatcom Legislative District: 42 Status: Closed Completed RCO Project # 20-1512

Location Details

The subject property is located in southwest Whatcom County about 5 miles southeast of the community of Acme and about 18 miles east of the central business district of the city of Bellingham in Whatcom, Washington. The subject has no physical address. Access is obtained from a forest service roads which start at the terminus of Saxon Road, which is a gravel two-lane road. The subject can also be accessed from forest service roads which start from the terminus of Blue Mountain Road. Both roads intersect State Route 9 which intersects Mt. Baker Highway, or SR 542, that provides access to Bellingham. State Route 9 also provides direct access to Sedro Woolley in Skagit County about 14 miles to the south.

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.