FORKS (Dec. 20, 2005) – Two cars creating potential hazards for fish and their habitat were pulled from the Bogachiel River near Forks Monday. The Quileute Tribe paid the $1,000 cost to remove them.
Bogachiel River valley resident Chiggers Stokes alerted the tribe to the location of the cars. State and county agencies assisted with moving the process forward quickly. “One vehicle probably still had some fluids in it, so it’s definitely good to get that out of there,” said Frank Geyer, Timber, Fish, Wildlife biologist for the Quileute Tribe. “Neither one of them was doing anything good for fish habitat, so it’s great that the tribe stepped up and paid for removal.”
“The one vehicle had been in there a couple of years following an accident,” said Geyer. “The other was an abandoned vehicle that had been near the river for quite a few years and some kids apparently decided it looked better in the river than alongside the road.”
D and H Enterprises of Forks extracted the cars as well as a refrigerator located nearby. One car had to be cut up into pieces to remove the accumulated silt prior to cabling them out.
The Bogachiel River empties into the Quillayute River and contains coho, chinook, and steelhead as well as trout. The Quileute Tribe, as co-manager of the salmon resource, contributes to annual fisheries planning by conducting salmon spawning surveys as well as walking streams to determine fish habitat and presence as part of making sure state forestry rules protect fish habitat. Numerous salmon habitat restoration projects have also been completed by the tribe in the basin.
“We care about the river,” said Mel Moon, natural resources director for the Quileute Tribe. “All parts of the effort to protect salmon are important.”
“The unusually low water levels recently gave us a short window to accomplish this,” said Geyer. “Being able to coordinate this quickly speaks to the spirit of cooperation that exists between agencies out here.”
For more information, contact: Mel Moon, natural resources director, Quileute Tribe, (360) 374-5695; Frank Geyer, Timber, Fish, Wildlife biologist, Quileute Tribe, (360) 374-2027; Debbie Preston, coastal information officer, Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, (360) 374-5501, [email protected]