Headwaters Forest Proposed WSRs

Fact Sheet: Headwaters Forest Proposed WSRs

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These proposed Wild and Scenic Rivers flow through the Headwaters Forest Reserve’s ecologically significant old growth and second-growth redwood forests, support endangered populations of salmon and steelhead, and provide outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation.

South Fork Elk River & Tributaries – 9.4 miles

As part of the Headwaters Forest Reserve, the South Fork and Little South Fork Elk River possess unparalleled ecological values. Coho and Chinook salmon, and steelhead spawn in the streams and the marbled murrelet and spotted owl nest in the adjacent old growth redwoods and Douglas firs. Federal officials recently identified the river and its tributaries as essential for the recovery of threatened salmon and steelhead. The historic site of Falk, a former mill town, is also located on the South Fork. The South Fork Trail is a popular hiking and biking destination for families. The river would be administered through a cooperative management agreement between the BLM and the State of California. The South Fork is recommended for protection by the BLM.

Salmon Creek – 5.4 miles

Salmon Creek possesses unparalleled ecological values in the Headwaters Forest Reserve. Steelhead, coho, and Chinook salmon spawn in Salmon Creek and marbled murrelet and spotted owl nest in the adjacent old growth redwoods and Douglas firs. Federal officials identified the creek as essential for the recovery of threatened steelhead. The Salmon Creek Trail offers a popular docent-led hike through old growth redwoods. The creek would be administered through a cooperative management agreement between the BLM and the State of California. Salmon Creek is recommended for protection by the BLM.

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Quick Facts

  • Management Agency: Bureau of Land Management ~ Headwaters Forest Preserve BLM Arcata Field Office
  • Location: Humboldt County; CA 2nd Congressional District
  • Watershed: Elk River, Humboldt Bay
  • Size: 14.8 miles (South Fork Elk River & Tributaries—9.4, Salmon Creek & Tributaries—5.4)
  • Recreational Uses: Fishing, swimming, photography, non-mechanical boating
  • Ecological Values: Anadromous fisheries and other wildlife, old-growth redwoods