Little Skookum Inlet

Forterra is working to conserve Little Skookum Inlet, 816 acres of riparian habitat, wetland and forest with two miles of marine shoreline in Mason County.

Order the Little Skookum dish at one of 28 local restaurants and 100% of proceeds go to Forterra’s Little Skookum Inlet campaign.

Can’t make it to one of these restaurants? You can still protect what you love with a donation of any size!

Give to protect Little Skookum inlet

Participating Restaurants

Aqua by El Gaucho
Bramling Cross
El Gaucho (Bellevue, Seattle)
Marine Hardware
Miller’s Guild
Red Cow
San Juan Seltzery
Sitka & Spruce
Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bars (Bellevue, Capitol Hill, Pioneer Square, Queen Anne)

Forterra's Beach Party at Little Skookum Inlet at Port Blakely Tree Farms in Shelton, Washington
Danny Ngan

Generations of Native Americans, family foresters and shellfish farmers have tended to this inlet. Protecting this place will prevent the property from being developed while protecting critical habitat for shellfish and salmon. Securing this property on Little Skookum Inlet will maintain the quality of marine and fresh water sources critical to the health of Puget Sound and its diverse wildlife species. Moreover, conservation will allow the public continued access to hike, hunt and fish on the land.

Protect Little Skookum
Little Skookum Inlet's 916 acres are located on two miles of Puget Sound shoreline near Shelton, west of Olympia, Washington.
We need your help to raise the final $686,000 to protect this keystone place.
An oyster at Skookum Inlet
Photo by Danny Ngan

Preserve critical habitat

This significant stand of forest is becoming increasingly squeezed by development. Keeping the property in forest use protects water quality and provides critical habitat for marine wildlife such as Orca, river otter, shorebirds, crustaceans and fish. Among the latter are juvenile Chinook, Coho and steelhead, which utilize the inlet as a nursery before heading out to the open ocean. Freshwater streams on the property provide spawning grounds for fall chum.

While nearby estuaries—such as Oakland Bay and Budd Inlet—have largely been closed to shellfish harvesting due to contamination, Skookum remains a productive shellfish inlet because of its exceptionally high water quality.

Protect what you love
A wide variety of wildlife depends on the inlet’s high water quality and forest.

Protect water quality

If Little Skookum is developed as a residential subdivision, pollution from roofs, lawns, driveways, septic systems, roads and livestock will harm inlet water quality. Much of the land around the inlets of South Puget Sound has already been developed. Water quality in those areas has suffered as a result.

On the other hand Little Skookum’s water quality is still  healthy. Its wide and shallow channel is ideal for growing famously fat clams and oysters, prized by aficionados for a sweet and fruity flavor. Besides shellfish, keeping Little Skookum clean and healthy maintains the vitality of salmon-bearing streams. These streams are nurseries for Chinook, a vital food source for the imperiled pod of Southern Resident Orcas.

Give to protect Little Skookum Inlet
Persistently poor water quality is related to development and heavily armored shorelines.
Port Blakely trees on Little Skookum Inlet

Halt the threat of Development

Little Skookum’s forest and healthy shoreline are at imminent risk of being lost forever to development. If left unprotected, the property could be developed as a residential subdivision. Already, neighboring inlets are full of houses with armored shoreline. By keeping the property in forest use through a conservation easement, the land will remain undeveloped while forested buffers along shoreline and salmon-bearing streams will be expanded.


Prepare for climate change

Climate change—bringing rising sea temperatures, sea levels and ocean acidification—is expected to have a substantial negative impact on marine shorelines throughout Puget Sound. Our near-shore waters could become inhospitable to shellfish, salmon and Orca. Conserving the forests around Little Skookum will make the inlet more resilient to these changes, helping to lessen the local impacts of rising temperatures.

Boy tossing stones at Little Skookum Inlet
Photo by Danny Ngan

Access Recreation Opportunities

Little Skookum Inlet’s 816 acres are irreplaceable for human quality of life, too. The beautiful property is a widely popular and well-loved place where local residents can hike, hunt, fish and ride horses. Public access will be lost forever if we don’t act quickly to conserve the property.

Keep access to recreation
Troll at Little Skookum
A watchful troll guards a new fish passage culvert at Little Skookum Inlet

Working Forest & Partners

Our project partner, Port Blakely Tree Farms, has stewarded the forest at Little Skookum for over 150 years. Keeping the land as a working forest through a conservation easement will support local jobs and supply mills in communities such as Aberdeen, Centralia and Shelton. Port Blakely recently added a new culvert to improve the ability for chum salmon to swim upstream to spawn, even adding a resident troll to stand sentry.


Sunset at Little Skookum Inlet
Photo by Danny Ngan