The Makah Tribe and Forterra are pleased to announce the final conservation of 240 acres of forest land near Lake Ozette. The forested land includes a significant stretch of Umbrella Creek, which serves as critical spawning ground for the endangered Lake Ozette Sockeye Salmon.
“This marks a great step forward for restoring the unique and endangered Lake Ozette Sockeye Salmon. I’m pleased that the Makah Tribe and Forterra partnered together to conserve a vital part of our natural heritage,” said former Representative Norm Dicks, who represented the Olympic Peninsula for nearly 36 years in Congress.
In 2007, these three parcels totaling 240 acres along the north side of Lake Ozette were listed for sale and immediate development. Forterra quickly stepped in to acquire all three parcels and has since been working with partners on the Olympic Peninsula to identify a long-term owner with the commitment to steward this land and its natural resources for future generations. The announcement represents a culmination of that effort – the Makah will take ownership of the component parcels within the next year.
“The Lake Ozette system is truly a special place to the Makah people. The beauty of its natural surrounding along with the complex ecosystem has played, and continues to play, an important role in Makah history and traditional practices. The Makah Tribe has long been committed to restoring and stewarding the lands of this unique area for their great habitat values, for salmon and for elk. The opportunity to conserve this property, made possible by Forterra’s quick action, was one we could not pass up,” said T.J. Greene, Chair of the Makah Tribal Council. Since the 1970’s, the Makah Tribe has played an integral role in efforts to rebuild the Ozette system’s unique run of fish, which includes the endangered Lake Ozette Sockeye, the Hoko Chinook and Steelhead.
“Forterra works with partners across the Peninsula to create a sustainable and prosperous region, with both working and natural landscapes and thriving rural economies. Our vision for this land was that it would one day be cared for by an owner with the kind of dedication it takes to sustain it for generations to come. I am thrilled that we have succeeded and that through these efforts, we’ve deepened our relationship with the Makah Tribe,” said Forterra President, Gene Duvernoy. The Makah Tribe and Forterra have partnered together on a range of projects to enhance the quality of life of Neah Bay residents, from efforts to foster walking and biking, to an ongoing project with the Pomegranate Center to engage the local community in the design and construction of a gathering space near Hobuck beach.
This month, Forterra transferred two parcels totaling 160 acres to the tribe and will transfer the remaining 80 acre parcel in 2015.
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.