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Before and after Clearwater River restoration. (Photo: Keith Lazelle, Nature.org/NOAA/FIS)

Conservancy group purchases land to increase wild salmon numbers

  (UNITED STATES, 2/25/2011)

The Nature Conservancy and Rayonier has announced the sale of 3,088 acres along the Clearwater River in Jefferson County near the Washington coast.

The Conservancy is purchasing a corridor along the river about 11 miles long and about a mile wide, with the goal of bringing salmon back to historical levels of abundance. The total purchase price was USD 6.98 million.

“In this part of the world, salmon and forests and people are interdependent,” said Karen Anderson, the Conservancy’s Washington director.

Director Karen Anderson. (Photo: Gary Luhm)
“We can help secure a healthy future for people and wildlife by managing this stretch of forest for salmon habitat,” she continued.

“Rayonier has been part of the Washington community since 1926 when we first began operations near Mount Rainier,” said Lee M. Thomas, chairman and CEO of Rayonier.

“We’ve responsibly managed this forest since the 1940s, so we’re especially pleased to be part of this partnership to conserve lands in this very special part of the world,” he elaborated.

For generations, the forest has been managed for timber, supporting the local economy. While timber still remains an important part of the Washington coast’s economy, bringing salmon back to historical levels of abundance will help local cultures and the economy to thrive.

“These forests have sustained people for generations. Over the next century we will manage this forest so that it more resembles its former magnificence – and provides the habitats needed by wildlife.” Anderson said.

“This is active conservation management that will provide jobs for generations and ensure that these lands remain accessible to local communities and visitors,” Anderson expanded.

(Map: The Nature Conservancy)

“We support and applaud The Nature Conservancy’s visionary efforts toward ecological restoration of this area, which will partner with our own efforts to restore the declining salmon populations for our future generations,” said Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinault Indian Nation.

“We know the Conservancy as a thoughtful land steward, one that will be respectful of our treaty rights, and welcome them as a neighbor,” says Sharp.

“The Clearwater is nationally recognized as a salmon stronghold by the North American Salmon Stronghold Partnership and Quinault Indian Nation,” said Devona Ensmenger, Washington program manager for the Wild Salmon Center.

“However, its spring/summer Chinook salmon population is in serious decline and reestablishing the rainforest ecosystem is critical to bringing back healthy populations.”

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.

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To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 15 million acres in the United States and have helped preserve more than 102 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific.

In Washington, the Conservancy and its nearly 30,000 members have helped to protect more than 550,000 acres.

Additionally, Rayonier is a leading international forest products company with three core businesses: Timber, Real Estate and Performance Fibers.

The company owns, leases or manages 2.4 million acres of timber and land in the United States and New Zealand. The company's holdings include approximately 200,000 acres with residential and commercial development potential along the Interstate 95 corridor between Savannah, Ga., and Daytona Beach, Fla.

Its Performance Fibers business is one of the world's leading producers of high-value specialty cellulose fibers. Approximately 45 percent of the company's sales are outside the U.S. to customers in approximately 40 countries. Rayonier is structured as a real estate investment trust.


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City: Arlington
State/ZIP: Virginia (VA 22203-1606)
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