The Land Trust owns six properties totaling some 200 acres in the beautiful Ohop Valley. Ohop Creek runs through the heart of the valley and historically was a key salmon-producing tributary of the Nisqually River. More than a century ago, however, immigrant Swedish farmers turned the creek into a straight-flowing ditch in an attempt to dry out the valley and create better pasture for their dairy cattle.
It was a futile effort, as deep clay deposits continued to hold water the year round. Meanwhile, the destruction of the river's natural meander severely compromised the creek's ability to produce salmon.
Recently, the Land Trust and its conservation partners began a $10 million project to restore Ohop Creek's meander and rehabilitate its streamside habitat. As part of this project the Land Trust has acquired several Ohop properties, including the historic Peterson farm, which was first settled in the 1880s.
Our restoration activities include removing old buildings, eradicating invasive plant species, and replanting a large floodplain. Early results include an increase in salmon stocks and the return of species, such as elk, that have not been seen in decades.