Outdoors

Dispatches for Feb. 7

Environment

New land purchase boosts Kitsap preserve

Forterra began the new year by signing an agreement to purchase and protect 175 forested acres of Grovers Creek Preserve in North Kitsap County. The tract is a key link in the Sound to Olympics Trail.

The property, which is home to a peat bog and a rare grove of 200-year-old Sitka spruce trees, will become part of the new 270-acre Grovers Creek Preserve. The newly purchased tract supports more than 60 bird species, threatened steelhead and cutthroat trout, and provides a home for bear, mink, otter and other wildlife, according to a Forterra news release.

The Jan. 22 agreement called for a $920,000 payment to Pope Resources.

The property is across the road from the recently expanded North Kitsap Heritage Park. It will be the third purchase in the Kitsap Forest & Bay Project, a community-driven effort to secure miles of trails and to protect thousands of acres of forests, wetlands and shoreline for public access and wildlife habitat.

Public grants and private donations have raised $1.77 million for the Grovers Creek Preserve, with a remaining $325,000 needed by May.

Learn more about Forterra and its efforts at forterra.org.

Steelhead

Anglers to hear about Hood Canal hatcheries

Thursday’s meeting of Puget Sound Fly Fishers will include a program on conservation hatcheries to support steelhead recovery in Hood Canal.

The program will be presented by club member Barry Berejikian, who also is a research fish biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Berejikian’s research team is developing techniques to maximize the benefits of hatchery programs on natural populations of salmon and steelhead, while minimizing unintended risks.

His team is working with state, tribal, other federal agencies and nonprofit organizations to understand the life history, ecology and population dynamics of Hood Canal steelhead and monitoring the effects of conservation hatcheries on natural populations.

Berejikian will talk about what has been learned to date and what the group hopes to accomplish over the next eight years of the study.

He also will discuss angling opportunities in Hood Canal with conservation in mind, and how anglers can assist the conservation efforts.

The meeting, which is free and open to the public, will be at Tower Lanes Entertainment Center, 6323 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, at 6 p.m. There is an optional $15 dinner before the program.

Conservation

Capital Lake study part of Discovery Series

Chris Page from the Ruckelshaus Center will speak about the assessment of Capital Lake during the Discovery Speaker Series program Feb. 19.

Page will talk about collaborative problem solving, how the center applied that process to the lake assessment and a summary of the results.

The next program will be March 19, when Joe Evenson of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife will talk about the shorebirds of Puget Sound.

The series is free and open to the public thanks in part to The Russell Family Foundation, Washington Foundation for the Environment and the association’s members and supporters.

The program will be at LOTT’s WET Science Center, 500 Adams St. NE, Olympia. The doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the program running 7-8:30 p.m.

Participants can gather before the talk at Oly Rockfish Grill, 700 Fourth Ave. E. at 5:30 p.m. for a pre-program get together.

For more information, please contact center@sseacenter.org.

Compiled by Jeffrey P. Mayor, jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.com

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