Olsen Creek Proposed Wild and Scenic River

The South Fork Trinity River is one of the largest undammed river systems in California. The river and its tributaries support important populations of threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead and old-growth forest dependent wildlife species. The river and tributaries also offer outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities.

The federal coho recovery plan identifies Olsen Creek as a high priority restoration target. This Hayfork Creek tributary may also provide important thermal refugia for coho and other anadromous fish.


Management Agency: U.S. Forest Service ~ Shasta-Trinity & Six Rivers National Forests
Location: Trinity & Humboldt Counties, CA 2nd Congressional District
Watershed: Trinity River
Proposed Wild & Scenic River Miles:  2.8

Outstanding Values: Anadromous fisheries, ecological, recreation

Rusch Creek Proposed Wild and Scenic River

The South Fork Trinity River is one of the largest undammed river systems in California. The river and its tributaries support important populations of threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead and old-growth forest dependent wildlife species. The river and tributaries also offer outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities.

Rusch Creek is an important cold water contributor to Hayfork Creek and may provide a thermal refuge for anadromous fish. The creek supports moderate to high densities of steelhead.


Management Agency: U.S. Forest Service ~ Shasta-Trinity & Six Rivers National Forests
Location: Trinity & Humboldt Counties, CA 2nd Congressional District
Watershed: Trinity River
Proposed Wild & Scenic River Miles:  3.2

Outstanding Values: Anadromous fisheries, ecological, recreation

Madden Creek Proposed Wild and Scenic River

The South Fork Trinity River is one of the largest undammed river systems in California. The river and its tributaries support important populations of threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead and old-growth forest dependent wildlife species. The river and tributaries also offer outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities.

Madden Creek is one of the few lower South Fork tributaries with good water quality due to its relatively undisturbed watershed. Cold water from Madden Creek creates a critical thermal refuge for coho salmon migrating up the South Fork and the lower segment of the creek offers suitable habitat for coho, Chinook, and steelhead.


Management Agency: U.S. Forest Service ~ Shasta-Trinity & Six Rivers National Forests
Location: Trinity & Humboldt Counties, CA 2nd Congressional District
Watershed: Trinity River
Proposed Wild & Scenic River Miles:  8.4

Outstanding Values: Anadromous fisheries, ecological, recreation

Grouse Creek Proposed Wild and Scenic River

The South Fork Trinity River is one of the largest undammed river systems in California. The river and its tributaries support important populations of threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead and old-growth forest dependent wildlife species. The river and tributaries also offer outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities.

Grouse Creek is a high priority watershed for the restoration of coho and other South Fork fish stocks. The creek is also offers potential thermal refugia for fish migrating up the South Fork.


Management Agency: U.S. Forest Service ~ Shasta-Trinity & Six Rivers National Forests
Location: Trinity & Humboldt Counties, CA 2nd Congressional District
Watershed: Trinity River
Proposed Wild & Scenic River Miles:  11.3

Outstanding Values: Anadromous fisheries, ecological, recreation

Eltapom Creek Proposed Wild and Scenic River

The South Fork Trinity River is one of the largest undammed river systems in California. The river and its tributaries support important populations of threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead and old-growth forest dependent wildlife species. The river and tributaries also offer outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities.

A government fisheries report describes Eltapom Creek as the “gem” of the South Fork due to its excellent spawning gravel, holding pools, and dense riparian corridor. A critical thermal refuge, the creek supports endangered coho salmon and high densities of winter steelhead, as well as suitable habitat for spring Chinook salmon.


Management Agency: U.S. Forest Service ~ Shasta-Trinity & Six Rivers National Forests
Location: Trinity & Humboldt Counties, CA 2nd Congressional District
Watershed: Trinity River
Proposed Wild & Scenic River Miles:  3.4

Outstanding Values: Anadromous fisheries, ecological, recreation

Lacks Creek

credit – Bob Wick

These proposed Wild and Scenic Rivers flow through or are located upstream of Redwood National Park. They provide important habitat for threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead and nationally significant recreation opportunities.

A major tributary of Redwood Creek, Lacks Creek was determined by the BLM to be eligible for Wild & Scenic protection due to its outstanding old growth forests and anadromous fishery values. Federal officials recently identified the creek as essential for the recovery of threatened salmon and steelhead. The public lands in the Lacks Creek watershed are managed by the BLM to provide a wide variety of outdoor recreation, including mountain biking, hiking, camping, angling, and hunting. The lower 2.7 miles of Lacks Creek is proposed as a “potential” Wild and Scenic River pending acquisition for public conservation purposes.


Management Agency:  National Park Service ~ Redwood National Park
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ~ Arcata Field Office

Location: Humboldt County, CA 2nd Congressional District

Watershed: Redwood Creek

Proposed Wild & Scenic River Miles:  7.8 miles

Outstanding Values: Anadromous fisheries, wildlife, ecological, recreation

Lost Man and Little Lost Man Creeks

These proposed Wild and Scenic Rivers flow through or are located upstream of Redwood National Park. They provide important habitat for threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead and nationally significant recreation opportunities.

Supporting self-sustaining populations of Chinook and coho salmon, steelhead, and coastal cutthroat trout, these streams are important to the recovery and expansion of the anadromous salmonid populations of the Redwood Creek basin. Little Lost Man creek provides high quality refugia for at-risk fish species and Lost Man Creek has high potential to provide refugia. The outstanding and irreplaceable ecological values of these streams are recognized world-wide as part of the Redwood National Park World Heritage Site. The streams provide an excellent opportunity for scientific study of disturbed and undisturbed watersheds.


Management Agency:  National Park Service ~ Redwood National Park
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ~ Arcata Field Office

Location: Humboldt County, CA 2nd Congressional District

Watershed: Redwood Creek

Proposed Wild & Scenic River Miles:  19.6

Outstanding Values: Anadromous fisheries, wildlife, ecological, recreation

Black Butte Proposed Wilderness

The Wild and Scenic Black Butte River flows northwest for almost 30 miles from the crest of the northern Coast Range to the Wild and Scenic Middle Fork Eel River downstream.

The proposed wilderness is situated in the river’s V-shaped, rugged canyon, where it hosts resident trout, Chinook salmon, and winter-run steelhead. Downstream, the Middle Fork Eel supports what is presently considered to be the southernmost population of summer-run steelhead on the West Coast and the largest single run of summer steelhead in the state. Rich oak forests, meadows, and abundant ancient pine, fir and cedar forest grace the slopes above the river. The Forest Service notes that the region contains so many pristine archeological sites that it is of “exceptional” cultural importance. The Black Butte has been rated as a class IV+ stream (very difficult) by American Whitewater for those brave enough to kayak it.

The Bauer brothers had this to say in American Whitewater Journal after running the stream in the 1970s: “The Black Butte is an all-time classic! We all agreed that we had never experienced a better combination of fantastic rapids, beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, and isolation from humanity. Along the way we saw a bear, otters, golden eagles, deer, and some bunnies…For more than twenty miles along the river corridor there were literally no traces left by mankind. Pure wilderness at its best. I can hardly say enough about the quality of the rapids – mile after mile of exhilarating class III-IV+.” The proposed wilderness also has several historic foot and horse trails that offer almost guaranteed solitude.


Management Agency: U.S. Forest Service, Mendocino National Forest

Location:
Mendocino County, CA; 2nd Congressional District

Watershed: Black Butte River, a tributary of the Middle Fork Eel River

Size:
11,065 acres

Recreational Uses: Fishing, kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, important historical sites

Ecological Values: Ancient conifer and hardwood forests, critically-important salmon and steelhead habitat, meadows dominated by native grasses

Mattole River Estuary

Located in the King Range National Conservation Area, the Mattole Estuary provides important anadromous fish habitat for coho and Chinook salmon and steelhead. Federal officials recently identified the river as essential for the recovery of threatened salmon and steelhead. The estuary also provides habitat for several rare plants. A popular campground and recreation site near the mouth of the Mattole that attracts campers, hikers, hunters, and birders, and provides the northern access point for visitors hiking the Lost Coast Trail. The Mattole River is recommended for protection by the BLM.


Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management ~ King Range National Conservation Area
BLM Arcata Field Office

Location: Humboldt County, CA 2nd Congressional District

Watershed: Mattole River

Proposed Wild & Scenic River Miles: 1.5 miles

Outstanding Values: Anadromous fisheries, wildlife, botanical, scenery, recreation

Virgin Creek & New River

The proposed Wild and Scenic Rivers flow from the magnificent Trinity Alps Wilderness, providing important habitat for salmon and steelhead migrating to and from the Trinity River, as well as outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities and scenery.

From its source in the Trinity Alps Wilderness, Virgin Creek cuts its way through bedrock and flows over numerous waterfalls on its journey to the New River. These streams support one of the largest remaining populations of rare summer steelhead in California and provides excellent opportunities for primitive recreation in the scenic Trinity Alps Wilderness. The New River also offers class III-V whitewater boating opportunities. The streams are recommended for protection by the Forest Service.


Management Agency: U.S. Forest Service ~ Shasta-Trinity National Forests

Location: Trinity County, CA 2nd Congressional District

Watershed: Trinity River

Proposed Wild & Scenic River Miles: 15 miles

Outstanding Values: Anadromous fisheries, ecological, wildlife, recreation, scenery