From 2006-2011, within the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s area of concern (land north of Olympic National Park and Buckhorn Wilderness), the number of sub-watersheds having moderate, poor or severely damaged forest cover increased from 50 to 53, according to findings from the recently released State of Our Watersheds Report.
Some forest cover is regained through vegetation planting, but cover is being lost faster than planted as more forests are converted and developed.
Forest cover is important to healthy stream ecosystems, which supports salmon habitat. The quality of both the stream ecosystems and habitat decreases with loss of forest cover.
From the report:
Forested land cover is a vital component of healthy stream ecosystems at both the watershed and riparian corridor scales. The Hood Canal and Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca Summer Chum Salmon Recovery Plan states that the ‘removal and modification of native riparian forests increases water temperatures, reduces stability of floodplain landforms and reduces large woody debris recruitment to stream channels.’