Works and Days

Siegel Salmon Restoration Internship 2015: Garrett Linck, Part 2

Garret Linck is working on habitat conservation and restoration in the California wilderness as the Paul Siegel Salmon Restoration intern.

It’s hard to believe that I only have two and a half weeks left working for the Mendocino Land Trust. I’m nearly finished with one of the largest projects I’ve been working on this summer: a management plan for the Noyo River Redwoods Property. In my last post I mentioned the salmonid habitat surveys I was conducting in the Noyo River with Doug. This property lies along that same river, but further inland in eastern Mendocino county—near the city of Willits. The 426-acre property was purchased for $7.5 million in 2011 by Save the Redwoods League (a non-profit organization that protects and restores coastal Redwood forests), before being sold to the Mendocino Land Trust in 2012. 


My job has been to write a cohesive and encompassing plan to assess the options for the long-term use of the land. In this process, I have balanced MLT’s attention to the ecological value of the land with their commitment to public access. The California Western Railroad, colloquially referred to as the “Skunk Line,” switchbacks and meanders through the property giving tourists and locals alike a view of old growth Redwoods, historic logging settlements, and the salmon-bearing Noyo River. The land is notably home to 115 acres of late seral forest, 58% of which are Redwoods. The forest has been subject to clear-cut logging practices in the past century, creating a dense undergrowth of trees of the same age competing for sunlight and nutrients with the second-growth Redwoods. As such there are a variety of forestry technique that can be employed to improve the health of the Redwoods. 


Though not complete, the management plan as it stands contains the following options for the future:

  • Aggraded sediment removal from the Noyo
  • Various Forestry efforts including
  • Cutting a “fuel break” in the forest to protect from potentially devastating fires
  • Thinning out the forest which has become overgrown due to previous clear-cutting
  • Establishing a network of trails for the public accessible by the Skunk Train, making use of existing logging roads
  • Establishing a river-side trail along the Noyo with educational signage regarding salmonid habitat

Before I head back to Portland, I’ll be working on my grant writing skills applying for funding to build the aforementioned trails on the Noyo River Redwoods property. I’m excited to have contributed to something that I will be able to come back and visit years in the future. I’ve included a few pictures of the property, as well of some shots of the astoundingly beautiful coast that I was lucky enough to explore this summer. 


Tags: salmon, internship, summer, restoration, conservation, research, environment