South Prairie Creek Preserve

The Creek

South Prairie Creek is a tributary to the Carbon River with headwaters originating in the Snoqualmie National Forest. It is one of the most productive salmon bearing streams in the Puyallup River Watershed, with Fall Chinook, Chum, Coho, Pink, Cutthroat, Steelhead, and Bull Trout utilizing this system for spawning, rearing, foraging, migrating, and over-wintering. Given its importance to salmonids and other species, work to improve and restore habitat along South Prairie Creek is of huge importance.  PCD, along with a large coalition of local partners, recently completed a large restoration project at South Prairie Creek Preserve.

The Preserve

South Prairie Creek Preserve is a restoration site encompassing 129 acres of floodplain, riparian, and forested habitat along approximately half a mile of South Prairie Creek.This area is culturally significant to first nation peoples and the present-day Puyallup Tribe, with the valley used as seasonal hunting and fishing grounds since time immemorial. 

For the past century this area was used primarily for dairy farming but was acquired in 2005 by both Pierce Conservation District and Pierce County to preserve cultural and natural resources and restore the degraded and destroyed habitat. Since acquisition, large scale restoration projects have taken place including the excavation of half a mile of historic side-channel, installation of large woody debris structures, demolition of former dairy buildings, and the installation of tens of thousands of native plants.

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