Stillaguamish Tribe partners with Land Conservancy to preserve salmon habitat

The Cascade Land Conservancy and the Stillaguamish Tribe have partnered to conserve 77  acres of riverfront, forests and wetlands along the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River.

The Conservancy facilitated the purchase of the property on behalf of the tribe.

“We are pleased to take on the responsibility of conserving this property,” said Shawn Yanity, fisheries manager for the Stillaguamish Tribe. “This is a major step toward protecting the habitat we need for strong salmon runs.  For the tribe, this is about preserving our way of life and protecting our treaty-reserved right to fish.”

Riparian and instream restoration will begin this summer.

Story in the Daily Herald:

The property along the river’s North Fork was owned by Bryson Investment Group of Arlington. It includes two-thirds of a mile on the riverfront, a forested area with Douglas fir and red alder, and other wetlands.

The drop in the salmon population is a major concern for conservancy groups and also local American Indian tribes, which view the fish as a vital part of their culture.

While 77 acres may seem like a drop in the bucket for the about 448,000-acre Stillaguamish River watershed, it is still important, said Stillaguamish Tribe environmental manager Pat Stevenson.

The tribe may be ramping up its purchases to further insulate salmon from potentially harmful development, he said.

“I think you’ll be seeing more of it in the near future,” Stevenson said.