Lost Coast Education Center
Lost Coast Interpretive Association
Together with the King Range National Conservation Area, we are developing the Lost Coast Education Center located at their administrative site in Whitethorn. Two historic barns at the site have been beautifully restored and are already being used for our Summer Adventure Camp for kids. Through our joint efforts, the site is steadily becoming an outdoor/indoor classroom, native plant garden and nursery, and community gathering space. Plans for the education center include school field trips, river monitoring access, classroom lab, hands-on workshops, lectures, volunteer opportunities and other programs for the public.
Coastal Prairie and Native Grassland Restoration
Mattole Restoration Council
Mattole Restoration Council works with BLM to restore and conserve native grasslands throughout the King Range. The King Range is one of the few places that still supports large, remnant stands of coastal prairie, which have largely disappeared throughout California. These coastal prairie plant communities include several species of native grasses, as well as an array of wildflowers and herbs. The MRC has been working to help conserve and restore these plant communities by collecting native seed from wild populations, growing grass plugs in our native plant nursery, and planting plugs to expand existing populations as well removing conifers and brush that have encroached on native grasslands.
Estuary Restoration at the Mouth of the Mattole River
The Mattole Salmon Group
The Mattole Salmon Group and the BLM are implementing extensive estuary restoration measures near the mouth of the Mattole, together with multiple partners including the Mattole Restoration Council. These measures include placement of whole trees and large wood by helicopter, terrace margin treatments with bio-technical measures, and deep trenched willow plantings.
Groundwater Recharge Projects in the Mattole River Headwaters
Sanctuary Forest was recently granted funding from the Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB) for the Mattole Headwaters Streamflow Enhancement Planning and Implementation Projects. In February 2016, Sanctuary Forest’s executive director Tasha McKee travelled to Sacramento to be available to answer questions and thank the WCB and the proposition 1 funding program for creating a pathway for innovative streamflow enhancement projects.
The planning project will make possible the development and permitting of 6 streamflow enhancement projects located on 5 tributaries and the headwaters of the Mattole River. The project types include wetland restoration, off channel recharge ponds, restoration of entrenched streams and instream habitat. The implementation project aims to increase groundwater storage by approximately 10 million gallons and result in streamflow benefits sufficient to maintain pool habitat in Baker Creek even in the most severe drought years. This work has been inspired by work in Rajasthan, India where community collaboration has resulted in the construction of over 10,000 johads, a water structure to trap monsoon rains, which have restored ground and surface water to once dry rivers, revived fish populations, made drinking water available year around, and brought communities back to life.
Sanctuary Forest has been working with the Mattole Salmon Group, BLM, USFWS, NOAA Fisheries, and consulting engineers, hydrologists, biologists, and fisheries resource agencies for the past 6 years on groundwater recharge and coho habitat recovery pilot projects. McKee expressed gratitude to all partners and the community who have helped develop science and strategies for restoring drought resilience. Agency and community support is vital to sustaining Sanctuary Forest’s long-term vision of restoring groundwater hydrology to the Mattole River watershed, and the WCB proposition 1 funding represents a milestone for implementing this vision.