The Olympic National Forest recently reached a watershed restoration milestone, with the completion of large scale road treatments in the upper South Fork Skokomish capping more than 20 years and millions of dollars of restoration work.
Last fall (2015), Olympic National Forest completed the last of the planned large-scale road decommissioning and stabilization projects on National Forest System lands in the upper watershed. In accordance with the Watershed Condition Framework guidelines, the Forest Service has now re-classified the South Fork Skokomish as a “properly functioning” watershed. Watershed conditions are still recovering, but key watershed processes have largely been restored. Watershed conditions and aquatic habitat will continue to improve over time.
The Skokomish Watershed Action Team (SWAT) is a highly effective, broad-based collaborative group promoting restoration of the Skokomish River watershed on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. The SWAT has forged a strong and durable partnership that actively promotes collaboration on restoration work on National Forest Service lands in the upper South Fork Skokomish watershed and coordination of work throughout the Skokomish valley.
Mission Statement: The Skokomish Watershed Action Team will work towards common ecological and economic goals in the Skokomish River watershed through collaborative basin restoration projects. Go to: Skokomish Watershed Action Team website
2010 South Fork Skokomish River Large Wood Project
During the summer of 2010 a collaborative large-scale river restoration project took place which involved constructing a series of 30 log jam structures along one mile of the mainstem South Fork Skokomish River. This was done to stabilize streambanks, restore stream function, and improve aquatic habitat in a reach that had been cleared for a proposed reservoir in the 1950s. South Fork Skokomish River Large Wood Project (PDF File - 1.26 mb)
2009 World Forestry Congress
The Skokomish watershed was one of three restoration case studies featured in the United States’ exhibit at the World Forestry Congress, which was held October 18-25, 2009, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Held every six years, the World Forestry Congress drew approximately 6,000 participants from 160 countries. Representing the Skokomish Watershed Action Team were Robin Stoddard from the Olympic National Forest and Keith Dublanica from Mason Conservation District. The Skokomish was selected for its local partnership efforts.