• Conservation of 33 acres expands South Prairie Creek Preserve Floodplain Restoration efforts.
• Continues two decades of Forterra conservation and restoration work near South Prairie Creek with key partners.
• Restoration of this Carbon River tributary will benefit salmon populations and improve habitat.
PIERCE COUNTY, WA — Forterra worked alongside its conservation partners to conserve 33 acres of salmon habitat and floodplain along South Prairie Creek. The privately owned property was previously used as a residence, horse boarding and racing facility. Forterra will hold the property to provide the sellers a temporary lease-back before removing all structures and transferring the property to the Pierce Conservation District in 2023 for restoration and inclusion with the adjacent 134-acre South Prairie Creek Preserve. The long-term goal for the preserve is to improve water quality, enhance salmon migration, create spawning habitat and restore the floodplain.
“This purchase of the South Prairie Creek parcel is a significant one for conservation in the South Prairie Creek Valley,” said Joe Sambataro, Forterra managing director of conservation transactions. “This adds to the work we have done with our partners over the past 20 years to restore a reach that is crucial for wildlife and salmon habitat as well as for humans who benefit from clean water and healthy salmon. We sincerely thank all our partners who rallied to secure the funding needed to complete this purchase.”
This 33-acre property is currently used for horse boarding and often floods, overrunning the previous landowner’s home and agricultural infrastructure. The lease-back will give additional time and support to the private landowner to remove decades of personal property and move to a new home in the region.
As an organization, Forterra drives land-based solutions to support a healthy environment and resilient communities in Washington. Forterra and its partners have acquired other properties in the South Prairie Creek Valley and continues to work with partners on long-term restoration. Partners and funders include Pierce County Conservation Futures, Pierce County Surface Water Management, Pierce Conservation District, Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Washington State Recreationand Conservation Office, South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group and the Puyallup/Chambers Salmon Recovery Lead Entity.
“This specific property and its purchase has been a driving force behind the greater South Prairie Creek conservation effort with discussions initiating 16 years ago,” says Pierce County councilmember Ryan Mello. “The Pierce County Conservation Futures program, Surface Water
2 Management, and County Council took key actions this year to make this collaborative project a reality.”
South Prairie Creek is a tributary to the Carbon River, which flows from the Carbon Glacier on Mount Rainier, and is one of the principal salmon streams in the Puyallup-White River watershed. South Prairie Creek provides habitat for Endangered Species Act-listed Chinook and steelhead as well as Coho, Chum, Pink, Bull trout and other species.
“South Prairie Creek is one of the most productive salmon streams in the 1,000-square-mile Puyallup watershed,” said Char Naylor, Puyallup Tribe Fisheries Department assistant director. “The acquisition of this 33 acres cannot be underestimated in that it provides a rare opportunity to build upon the restoration recently done at the South Prairie Creek Reserve site downstream.”
Learn more about Forterra at forterra.org.
Managing Director of Media Relations and Storytelling, Forterra
Forterra is an unconventional land trust that works across Washington’s communities and landscapes, from the ranches and shrub-steppe of the Yakima basin, to the estuaries, farms and forests of Washington’s coast, reaching more than 100 counties, cities, towns and rural communities. Working cooperatively with people and nature, Forterra drives land stewardship, management and planning; innovative programs and policies; farming and forestry approaches; community ownership opportunities; and development solutions. Visit www.forterra.org.