The proposed wilderness is covered with an ancient forest of Douglas fir, live and black oak, ponderosa pine, sugar pine, tan oak, and other species.
The Wild and Scenic Eel River bisects the western portion of English Ridge from south to north, in fact, the river provides the only legal public access to the area because it is surrounded by private land. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) found Fish Creek and Indian Creek (two tributaries of the Eel) in the proposed wilderness to be eligible for wild and scenic river status because of their old-growth forests and habitat for salmon and steelhead. The forested slopes in the area are nearly trackless, so most recreation use consists of kayaking, canoeing, and rafting the Eel River.
In 2011 the Department of the Interior released a report highlighting BLM lands around the nation that ought to be designated as wilderness by Congress. It included English Ridge among what it called these “crown jewels” of the BLM’s potential wilderness portfolio.