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Raft trips show Nisqually’s wild side, help conservation

4:45 pm July 12th, 2012

Two raft trips this month on the Nisqually River will show the “real” Nisqually while raising money to help keep it that way.

The Nisqually Land Trust is offering the floats July 21 and 29, each on a different stretch of the river. The trips are rated for ages 6 and up and are professionally outfitted and guided by Wildwater River Tours. They last four to five hours and include a catered lunch on the riverbank.

Some people “may not realize how wild and scenic the Nisqually is,” said Land Trust executive director Joe Kane. “This river is close to home, yet 75 percent of its lower 42 miles – from Alder Dam to the delta – is permanently protected, undeveloped and relatively inaccessible.”

Rafting, Kane said, “is really the best way to see the Nisqually” and its resident eagles, hawks, deer and other wildlife.

The wild is what the Land Trust is all about. The organization, aided by proceeds from the raft trips, acquires and manages land to permanently protect the water, wildlife, natural areas and scenic vistas of the Nisqually River watershed..

The July 21 trip will start at the Nisqually’s confluence with the Mashel River near Eatonville. Nearly all of the 13-mile stretch is protected by the Land Trust, Kane said.

The July 29 trip will explore 10 miles of the lower Nisqually, starting near Yelm and passing through a corridor of old-growth forests and lush aquatic habitat.

Rafting the Nisqually River is a way to see wildlife such as eagles, hawks and deer, say organizers of the Nisqually Land Trust’s fund-raiser. (Courtesy photo)

Reservations for the raft trips cost $100 per person and are available from the Land Trust at (360) 489-3400 and www.nisquallylandtrust.org.

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