Land trust finalizes agreement on 75 acres in Blyn

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BLYN — The North Olympic Land Trust and landowner Phil Schenck have finalized an agreement that conserves 75 acres along Jimmycome-lately Creek in Blyn.

The land, which includes a 1-mile stretch of the creek that is considered prime salmon habitat, is now permanently protected with a conservation easement that is immediately adjacent to protected state, federal and tribal lands.

The easement means the lower 2 miles of the creek have now been conserved by local landowners.

Spawning habitat

The conservation easement protects spawning habitat for local salmon, specifically endangered summer chum, and Puget Sound steelhead trout, another endangered species.

According to the regional Summer Chum Salmon Recovery Plan, “protection, restoration and maintenance of the Jimmycomelately watershed is of paramount importance.

“The lower river sections must be restored and protected to effect and ensure recovery of the Strait [summer chum] population.”

In 1999, chum salmon in the creek were on the verge of extinction, with only seven adults returning to spawn.

By 2010, 4,207 spawners returned following restoration efforts led by the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe with a host of other agencies and organizations near the mouth of the creek.

“We are thrilled to collaborate on salmon recovery efforts along Jimmycomelately Creek,” said Tom Sanford, executive director of the land trust.

“Continued restoration of salmon is critical to the economic and ecological future of the North Olympic Peninsula.”

Scott Chitwood, natural resource director for the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe, said: “We expect this action will greatly aid in the recovery of the Jimmycomelately population of summer chum and steelhead.”

Last modified: December 20. 2012 5:57PM
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