Mad River Alliance

There is an exciting salmonid habitat preservation and restoration project on the Mad River that is in need of community volunteers! Mad River Alliance’s newest board member, Tim Broadman, and his family are spearheading the project that is located approximately five river miles from the confluence of Lindsay Creek and approximately six river miles from the mouth of the Mad River. Located on the north end of Fieldbrook Valley—along an old railroad logging road which now serves as a residential and timber harvest roadway—it is about a half a mile from the intersection of Murray Road and Old Railroad Grade Road.

The goal of this project is to create an educational park and creek path to promote preservation and conservation of salmonid habitat, as well as to provide a community site for elementary school classes to gather and learn about the forest ecosystem and the essentials that salmonids need to survive. It will also be a beautiful spot for community talks, as well as a place for community members to walk a pristine trail system and enjoy the peace and quiet of the forest.

The project started in 1988 when the Broadman family bought the parcel and halted the harvest of second growth trees on the parcel. In 1990, redwoods were planted along the creek. In 1992, a shotgun culvert was replaced with a bridge on the road crossing the creek, allowing improved fish passage. Current work is being done to improve the trails and build a small raised platform for people to gather on. Eventually, the Broadman family hopes to build a small open structure, such as a gazebo, to house stream gauges and other stream monitoring and data gathering equipment, as well as to provide a sitting area and a place to hang water proof placard posters that depict the salmon life cycle and the carbon cycle.

Mad River Alliance is looking for six volunteers for three half days of trail building; and one or two carpenters for four half days of structure building. The Broadman family will have wood and supplies, but needs the expertise to start work on the structure and to install the stream monitoring and gauging instruments.

This project will benefit the communities of Fieldbrook and McKinleyville by adding an all-weather nearby destination to view spawning fish in the winter. Everyone, especially the local schools, will be able to use it as an easily accessible learning site and outdoor classroom.

This site, located near populated communities, will demonstrate that recovery of Mad River’s endangered salmonid populations is possible through habitat restoration. The site will also help showcase nature’s majesty and instill in young minds the importance of protecting the planet.

The Broadman family appreciates the past assistance from Kernan Construction and California Department Fish and Wildlife, and they will continue to organize community volunteers to work on the project through completion and then management. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Caroline Hall at [email protected]!

For more info: madriveralliance.org