Elochoman River - Columbia Land Trust

Elochoman River

Forest on the Upper Elochoman River
  • Number of Projects: 4
  • Acreage: 660
  • Fact: Since 1967, this area’s population of Columbian white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus leucurus) has been listed as endangered. Its population is estimated at less than 1,000.
  • Experience: Known for its runs of steelhead, the Elochoman River passes through a largely rural and forested landscape before flowing through the sloughs and wetlands that connect the river to the Columbia River Estuary.
  • What We’re Doing: Restoring forests and reconnecting wetlands to the tides. Turning a former poplar plantation into habitat to benefit Columbian white-tailed deer, as well as waterfowl and wetland-loving species.
Contact Us About This Project

The Big Picture

Located in the tidal floodplain of the Columbia River Estuary, the 15-mile-long Elochoman River is known for its runs of steelhead. Once upon a time, this area was defined by Sitka spruce swamps, complex forests, and tidal wetlands—a dynamic, water-rich place filled with wildlife. We began working here in 2004 when we purchased 185 acres along Indian Jack Slough and Nelson Creek. Since then, we’ve been restoring wetlands and forested areas, bringing back the Elochoman River’s native habitat and its wildlife. On Indian Jack Slough, we’re restoring a former poplar plantation for Columbian white-tailed deer, waterfowl, and many other species.

Why It Matters

The Elochoman River provides habitat for many imperiled species in the Northwest, including threatened steelhead, marbled murrelet, and the endangered Columbian white-tailed deer. The presence of these species means that the Elochoman area has strong restoration potential. Consider our work on Indian Jack Slough: Egg mass surveys show amphibians—critical indicators of ecosystem health—have returned in great numbers. We’re working to execute new large-scale restorations projects, among them, adding a culvert that will allow juvenile salmon to reach historic rearing habitat.

Photo by Lenkerbrook Photography
Featured Story

Answers in the Trees

Understanding the role of Northwest forests in tackling climate change

More and more, we’re reading about how trees can be a solution to climate change. (We wrote about it in the previous issue of Fieldbook, in fact.) The topic has generated a number of questions about what trees can do, what they can’t do, and how we can best go about working with forests as a climate solution strategy. To answer these questions, let’s start with the…

Read More
Updates from the Field
View All
Nature Knows Best
Natural climate solutions represent a key strategy to combat climate change

If you’re reading this, it’s a safe bet that you care about the environment (thank you). It’s also a safe bet that in the process of staying informed about the challenges of pollution, habitat loss, and global climate change, you’ve recently found yourself feeling overwhelmed by the sheer gravity of it all. It seems as…

Read More
Adidas Pitches In
In August, a group of eight volunteer from adidas helped pick up trash along the Elochoman River

On an unseasonably cool summer Thursday, a group of eight Adidas employees took a break from the office to help Columbia Land Trust clean up trash along the Elochoman River in Wahkiakum County, WA. When it was all said and done, the group learned a bit about the Land Trust’s restoration work along the river…

Read More
Coastal Conservation Roundup
Columbia Land Trust kicked off 2019 with some early conservation successes along the Columbia River Estuary.

By Jay Kosa Since the 1880s, more than half the floodplain of the lower Columbia River has been converted to agricultural, residential, or other human uses. Today, habitat loss threatens a number of fish and wildlife species. Columbia Land Trust, in response, is conserving key remaining strongholds of forest and wetland habitat and restoring the…

Read More