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The Streelow Creek Trail within Redwood National and State Parks will close to hike and bike access beginning this week through September 2011. The closure protects visitor safety while the National Park Service conducts essential trail improvement and construction projects. The Streelow Creek Trail improvements are necessary to protect three species of salmonids listed as threatened—chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), and steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)—and to improve the safety and experience for park visitors who use the trail. Six culverts will be replaced along the trail. In addition, vegetation will be thinned along the western end of the route as part of an eventual road-to-trail conversion. Both projects require the use of heavy equipment along the roadway, making the trail unsafe for public use during construction.
The Streelow Creek Trail is a 1.8-mile-long hiking and bicycling trail established on old logging roads adjacent to Streelow Creek. Logging in the Streelow Creek watershed and maintenance of logging roads ceased upon creation of Redwood National Park in 1968. Streelow Creek is a tributary of Prairie Creek. Both creeks contain some of the best remaining rearing and spawning habitat for salmonids in the park. Restoration efforts in the parks, such as these trail improvements, have helped threatened and endangered (T&E) fish and wildlife primarily by reducing sedimentation from logging roads through road decommissioning and rehabilitation. Reducing sediment runoff from hillslopes creates better stream substrate for anadromous fish redds (gravel bed for eggs) and fry (young fish). It also helps stabilize streambanks, which allows old-growth redwood trees to remain upright and keeps old-growth habitat intact for species such as the northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet.
While the Streelow Creek Trail is closed for improvements, there are still many opportunities—from leisurely strolls to challenging bike routes—to explore the 170 miles of hiking trails, 54 miles of bicycle trails, and 44 miles of horse trails in your Redwood National and State Parks. For more information, maps, and suggestions for exploring your parks, stop by any information center. Information can also be obtained by calling 707-465-7335. Questions regarding the Streelow Creek Trail improvements project may be directed to Michael Sanders, National Park Service Geologist, at 707-465-7742.
This News Release can also be viewed, downloaded, and/or viewed here (PDF, 29 KB).