The Nisqually Land Trust will host two nature walks this Saturday along the Mashel River near Eatonville.
The one-mile walks – one from 12:30 to 2 p.m. and another from 2:30 to 4 p.m. – will wind through a Douglas fir forest to the former Van Eaton family homestead.
They’ll be led by Land Trust executive director Joe Kane and site steward Martin McCallum.
The tours will include an emphasis on salmon-recovery efforts in the Mashel that are being headed by the Land Trust and the Nisqually Indian Tribe.
The Mashel is the largest salmon-producing tributary to the Nisqually River and was once one of the major steelhead-trout rivers in the Pacific Northwest. Even today, longtime Eatonville residents talk of steelhead runs so dense “you couldn’t see the river bottom,” a Land Trust spokesman said.
But runs of steelhead and Chinook salmon have declined dramatically over the past forty years, and both are now listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
The walks are free, but registration is required through the Nisqually Land Trust at 360-489-3400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More nature walks are scheduled for July 19 from 12:30 to 2 pm and 2:30 to 4 p.m.
The Nisqually Land Trust, a non-profit organization, is protecting the Nisqually River watershed through the acquisition of 4,800 acres from Mount Rainier National Park to the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge.