An International Organization Recognized Three Groups for Their Restoration Achievements on the Mattole River
An international organization has recognized the Bureau of Land Management, Mattole Restoration Council and the Mattole Salmon Group for their restoration achievements in the Mattole River estuary in southern Humboldt County.
The American Fisheries Society Western Chapter presented their 2018 Riparian Challenge Award to the partners who have been working since 2013 along the lower three miles of the Mattole River within the BLM-managed King Range National Conservation Area.
“Restoring this estuary is extremely important,” said Zane Ruddy, a fisheries biologist with the BLM in Arcata. “This improved habitat will benefit the fish as they feed, grow and gain strength before they head out to sea.”
During a five-year project, the partners improved habitat for chinook and Coho salmon and steelhead, all species listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Project workers excavated new slough habitat and planted more than 60 acres with riparian vegetation. They increased the number of estuary pools, important for the health and survival of these species, from seven to 20. The partners are now planning additional projects.
“Our partnership with BLM, the local community, ranchers, and local contractors, has produced measurable improvements in fish habitat, while also enhancing native grasslands,” said Steve Madrone, executive director of the Mattole Salmon Group. “This win-win approach for the environment and local ranching and fishing industries is the solution to many of our environmental and economic issues.”
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $75 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2016—more than any other agency in the Department of the Interior. These activities supported more than 372,000 jobs.