History of the Trust

About the Hoh River Trust

The chance to preserve the Hoh River is truly a unique conservation opportunity; it is a last great American river. Of over 250,000 rivers in the continental US, the Hoh is arguably one of the most unspoiled, flowing virtually intact for 56 miles from its source high in the Olympic Mountain range into a marine sanctuary along Washington’s Pacific coast.

Ten thousand acres extending a mile on either side of the river within the lower 30 miles outside of the Olympic National Park have been designated as being at-risk. Home to perhaps the world’s greatest old growth and temperate rain forests, the Hoh River corridor provides critical habitat for endangered and listed species including marbled murrelet, spotted owl, bald eagle, and bull trout. It also supports some of the healthiest native salmon and steelhead runs in the lower 48 along with a diversity of additional wildlife, including elk, black bear, cougar, and more.

In partnership with Western Rivers Conservancy and the Wild Salmon Center, and with just under $12mm in federal funding under the Endangered Species Act, the Hoh River Trust has acquired nearly 70% of the 10,000 at-risk acres. These acquisitions are significant because it means that over 90% of the Hoh River basin, including the lands within Olympic National Park, are now preserved forever, and the pristine conditions that begin in the Park will now extend nearly the entire course of the river.

Over the last century, much of these targeted lands were managed for commercial timber harvest and are now in various stages of regeneration. Now comes the Hoh River Trust's important work of restoration, stewardship, and community outreach; the pillars of our mission.

Our professional land management and stewardship staff has extensive experience in habitat restoration, forestry, fisheries, and project management. Our land management plan identifies and prioritizes the bulk of restoration work needed to return damaged lands to old growth and naturally evolving conditions. We have dynamic relationships with regional fish and wildlife conservation organizations, management agencies, and academic researchers. We work closely with local communities on the Olympic Peninsula, meaningfully engaging them in our planning, restoration, forestry, and stewardship activities. In all, we are building a model for future river conservation and stewardship efforts.

The Hoh River Trust can assure that almost 90% of the entire Hoh ecosystem can be protected from unwanted development, where the dependent species can thrive in an undisturbed and naturally evolving habitat, and where people can continue to enjoy the ecological bounty, leaving a legacy for future generations. We are in the unique position of protecting one of the few remaining unspoiled rivers in the lower 48 states. Your support today will be instrumental in helping us achieve these exciting goals.