Tribal Tree Donation Completes Habitat Restoration Project

NISQUALLY – Trees from the Nisqually Indian Reservation will find their way into a salmon recovery project this fall.

The tribe is donating a dozen large trees to a project that will restore salmon habitat and protect property from erosion along the Mashel River in Eatonville. “Trees like this are hard and expensive to come by,” said David Troutt, natural resources director for the tribe. “We sometimes can find donations, but to get a project done oftentimes we have to buy logs.”

The tribe is managing the restoration project that will place seven logjams in the river, diverting the flow away from a state highway and private property threatened by erosion.

“The trees were danger trees that we selectively removed from our reservation neighborhoods because they could fall during windstorms,” said James Slape Jr., a tribal council member. Trees from land targeted for a new public safety complex also are being used in the project.

Logjams are important river features for salmon at all life stages because they create good habitat in which fish can feed and rest. The tribe has been working with the town of Eatonville and other organizations to build logjams along the Mashel River for years. “We’ve seen some real improvement in salmon populations since we’ve begun building these jams,” Troutt said.

In addition to the Mashel River, the tribe has also restored hundreds of acres of the Nisqually estuary and taken a leadership role in planning salmon recovery throughout the watershed.

“Restoring and protecting salmon habitat is a major goal for the tribe,” Slape said. “We fish for these salmon, so we want them to survive in the future.”


For more information, contact: David Troutt, natural resources director, Nisqually Indian Tribe, (360) 438-8687. James Slape Jr., council member, Nisqually Indian Tribe, (360) 456-5221.