Construction of the Ohop Valley Restoration Project culminates nearly a decade of planning and design!
The Nisqually Land Trust property, the historical Peterson Farm, in the Ohop Basin straddles Hwy. 7, a major thoroughfare to mountain communities and the Mt. Rainier National Park, Longmire entrance.
The Nisqually Indian Tribe originally identified the Ohop watershed restoration as a primary priority habitat for Chinook Salmon Recovery in their 2002 Chinook Recovery Plan. Since that time plans have been underway to restore a 4 mile stretch of agricultural ditch, the current Ohop Creek, into a 6 mile meandering channel and wetland complex, resembling the historical Ohop Creek alignment.
The first phase of this project, resulting in 1.2 miles of restored stream, has been in development for the past 2 years. ENTRIX Environmental has worked closely with SPSPEG staff, the landowner (NLT) and adjacent community members, and technical advisors from the Nisqually Indian Tribe, USFWS, NRCS, WADOT, WDFW, Pierce County and Conservation District to develop a design that will reach restoration goals for.
These goals include:
- Building a meandering channel of historical elevation that will improve hydrological connectivity within the floodplain, Increasing channel and floodplain complexity through the addition of Large Woody Debris (LWD) structures and Thorough re-vegetaion of 80 acres of valley floor with native wetland and riparian plant communities.
- In addition, consideration to infrastructure including Hwy. 7 and Peterson road prisms and associated bridges, flooding impacts on adjacent neighbors, and multiple ditches to contend with have added complexity to design options.