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Contact: Aida Parkinson, 707-465-7703
The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking comments on a proposal to restore habitat for anadromous salmonids, including threatened coho salmon and steelhead trout, in Strawberry Creek in Redwood National Park near Orick in northwestern Humboldt County.
Strawberry Creek, a perennial tributary of Redwood Creek in the lower Orick valley, once supported a productive coastal cutthroat trout fishery and healthy populations of coho salmon and steelhead. By the mid-1950s, a large portion of the Orick valley floor had been converted to agricultural use. Strawberry Creek was straightened and channelized, and adjacent forested wetlands cleared and drained. Stream alteration created conditions favoring invasive grasses, which filled in the stream channel and reduced salmonid habitat. The grass-filled channel blocks fish passage, decreases water quality by reducing dissolved oxygen, raises water levels which aggravate flooding on adjacent lands, and promotes sediment deposition in the channel.
The NPS is proposing to restore about 1600 linear feet of stream channel on park lands in partnership with others engaged in similar restoration activities on Strawberry Creek downstream of the park, including private land and County-owned property. Proposed restoration activities in the park include removing invasive grasses, excavating a new channel to mimic the natural form, installing wood structures in the new channel to control streambed elevation and create fish habitat cover, re-establishing a riparian canopy along the newly excavated channel, replacing an undersized culvert, and removing sediment sources on adjacent hillslopes. About three acres of park land would be affected by restoration actions.
The NPS is preparing an environmental assessment (EA) for this project. The EA will address the potential effects of the project on cultural and natural resources including soils, hydrology, water quality, wetlands, vegetation, and fish and wildlife including endangered species and endangered species habitat.
If you have any issues or input you believe should be considered in the Strawberry Creek Restoration EA, please send this information in writing by September 28, 2012 to
ATTN: Strawberry Creek
Redwood National and State Parks
1111 Second Street
Crescent City, CA 95531.
If you would like additional information about this project, please contact Aida Parkinson at 707-465-7703 or via e-mail at e-mail us, or visit the project home page at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/redw and search for Strawberry Creek restoration.