After winding through a miles-long patchwork of orchards, an unassuming little creek empties into the lower Hood River, forming an intersection of ideal habitat for fish and terrestrial wildlife. Despite its size, Neal Creek supports roughly one in ten of the steelhead in the Hood River system, along with coho and Chinook salmon. For this reason,…Read More
The Big Picture
A great Northwest river, the Hood River plunges for 25 miles past forests, orchard lands, and timber country before finally meeting the Columbia near the City of Hood River itself. In 2013, PacifiCorp, which had owned the only dam on the Hood River, transferred a four-mile-long corridor of land along the Hood River to Columbia Land Trust and Hood River County. Our charge is to manage the Hood River for wildlife habitat, make sure that people have access to the river for recreation, and ensure that tribal fishing rights and private property rights are protected.
Why It Matters
For 90 years, power companies owned this corridor, which had a benefit for nature: It kept the land from being divided and developed. Today land along the Hood River provides habitat for elk and deer, cougar and black bear, osprey and eagles. Its rushing waters course over smooth rocks, islands, and fallen wood, forming the cold, deep pools preferred by steelhead and salmon. We’re working with local residents, partner organizations, and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to develop and implement a vision that allows people access to the river and protects fish and wildlife.