Collaboration in McKee Creek

Two CCC members assist as community volunteer, Georje Holper (left), demonstrates for the crew how to branch-pack an incised tributary to McKee Creek. Photo by Ash Brookens

Sanctuary Forest By Ash Brookens, Sanctuary Forest Tucked between the winding county road and a densely forested hillslope as you approach the community of Whitethorn is McKee Creek, a headwaters tributary to the Mattole River. From the road, you might not even notice that it’s there. But this stream holds promise for coho recovery in…

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Streamflow and Habitat Enhancement in North Fork Lost River

One of two streamflow augmentation ponds constructed this summer. Revegetation of the pond sites with native grasses and sedges will occur this fall and winter.  photo by Ash Brookens

By Ash Brookens, Sanctuary Forest In the fall of 2021, Sanctuary Forest was awarded $2 million in funding by the Wildlife Conservation Board to implement a multifaceted project on the North Fork of Lost River, a Class I tributary to the Mattole River, with the goal of improving conditions for native coho and their supporting…

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“Stacking” Restoration Strategies for Greater Impact on Water Flows in the Mattole

A completed log weir (left) and beaver dam analog (right) in the South Fork of Lost River.

Understanding the Complicated Relationship of Hydrology and Geology By Anna Rogers, Sanctuary Forest, Inc. Since 2002, when the community called upon Sanctuary Forest to help address low-flow problems in the upper Mattole, we’ve been busily applying ourselves, trying different strategies to reduce the effects of drought and legacy impacts. We’ve worked closely with the community…

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Restoring Fire Resilience in the Mattole River Headwaters

Sanctuary Forest By Ash Brookens, Tasha McKee, and April Newlander Sanctuary Forest (SFI) holds title to more than 800 acres of forestland in the Mattole River headwaters. The group is committed to stewardship practices that will reduce wildfire risk and promote forest health, as well as improve streamflows and riparian habitat. In February 2022, SFI…

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Evolving Drought Resilience in McKee Creek

Sanctuary Forest By Anna Rogers, Tasha McKee, and Ash Brookens Traveling through the Upper Mattole in southern Humboldt County, you may have noticed some activity between Ettersburg and Whitethorn Junctions over the past two months. Sanctuary Forest, in partnership with the Mattole Salmon Group and Logan Edwards of Edwards Excavation & Restoration, broke ground on…

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Then & Now! Luna

At the base on Luna
Stuart Moskowitz at base of Luna in 2019 with, from left to right —Sanctuary Forest Board Members Janice Parakilas, and Women’s Forest Sanctuary members Susan Werner and Robin Reiss. Photo by Susan Parsons

A Few of Our Partners Revisit Projects From Years Past and Share Where They Stand Today Then from Trees Foundation’s Branching Out, Winter 1998/99 Butterfly’s Occupation Reaches One Year As winter storms began to descend upon Humboldt County and the longest night of the year approached, a lone vigil continued, high atop an ancient redwood…

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Then & Now! Sanctuary Forest

Sanctuary Forest Staff & Board members on Annual Retreat, May 2021
Sanctuary Forest Staff & Board members on Annual Retreat, May 2021—left to right, from front row: Matt Knoedelseder, Eric Shafer, April Newlander, Renee Crowley, Anna Rogers, Victoria Shafer, Ash Brookens, Denise Dills, Rena Lourie, Mike Torbert, Stuart Moskowitz, Janice Parakilas, Tasha McKee, Betsy Watson and Cam Thompson. (Not pictured: Walker Wise, Bryce Howard.)

A Few of Our Partners Revisit Projects From Years Past and Share Where They Stand Today Then From Trees Foundation’s Branching Out, Winter 2007 Sanctuary Forest’s Mattole Flow Program continues to lead the way for our community and the land trust movement in the area of rural water conservation and protection of instream flows. The…

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Tipping the Scale: With Large Dams Coming Down, Small Ones are Going Up to Restore Balance in Impacted Watersheds

Sugar Creek (Callahan, CA), Youth Environmental Summer Studies (YESS) crew and Scott River Watershed Council staff work on annual maintenance of BDAs. photo courtesy Charnna Gilmore, July 17, 2018

By Ash Brookens, Sanctuary Forest When I moved to the Mattole watershed nearly a decade ago, my new neighbor gave me my first lesson in wood loading. Which is to say, he gently schooled me for foraging firewood from the river bar. He explained how woody debris remaining in the river is critical for creating…

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Fire Prevention & Preparedness

A prescribed burn in action—this is the site of the burn that SFI visited on our hike. The burn was completed with the help of Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association, Briceland, Telegraph Ridge, Honeydew and Shelter Cove Volunteer Fire Depts., CalFire, Prometheus Fire Consulting, UCCE, NCAQMD, and many others. photo by Matt Cocking

By Anna Rogers, Sanctuary Forest This year we experienced what it’s like to live in the shadow of a gigafire—a fire that burns over a million acres. What began as many small lightning-sparked wildfires rapidly grew into the massive August Complex fire—now the largest fire in modern California history. And it was right in our…

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