8th Annual Coho Confab
Salmonid Restoration Federation and the Trees Foundation produced the 8th annual Coho Confab from August 12-14, 2005 at the Wolf Creek Education Center in Redwood National Park in Humboldt County.
The Confab was held at Prairie Creek State Park, 5 miles north of Orick and 3 miles from the ocean. This park contains one of the most pristine redwood forests on the North Coast and is home to herds of elk, Pacific salamanders, marbled murrelets, Northern spotted owls and other rare species. Participants explored the ancient redwoods, the renowned Fern Canyon, and Gold Bluffs Beach where you can often see migrating whales in the ocean and elks grazing in the coastal grasses. Participants learned about an array of restoration techniques such as road decommissioning, streambank stabilization, water quality monitoring, native plant propagation, fish identification, and more.
The Friday evening orientation included cultural, regional, and political perspectives on salmon recovery. Walt Lara Senior, a Yurok elder and Dancemaker, shared Yurok cultural perspectives on stewarding the salmon. Terry Spreiter, Supervisory Geologist of the Watershed Restoration Program at Redwood National and State Parks, presented an overview of the Watershed Restoration Program at Redwood National and State Parks. Pat Higgins of Klamath Resource Information Systems (KRIS) discussed why the removal of the Klamath dams will enhance fish, tribes, and community economics.
On Saturday there were morning and afternoon concurrent workshops including a Redwood Creek Estuary tour focused on issues and opportunities for restoration led by Dave Anderson of Redwood Parks. Park staff led a tour highlighting restoration work at Lost Man and Redwood Creek. Hydrologist Randy Klein led a tour of Prairie Creek State Park that demonstrates hydrology, turbidity and sediment yield from pristine watersheds.
Saturday afternoon featured a field tour of McDonald and Prairie Creeks to see the development of local riparian restoration projects 20 years later led by Sungnome Madrone of Redwood Community Action Agency. Maureen Roche of Salmonid Solutions led a natural history and underwater exploration tour to identify different salmonids and see micro-habitats. Pat Higgins of KRIS taught “Tracking Sediment, Pool Volume and Herptafauna to Track the Fate of Damaged Streams.” Saturday late afternoon featured open forums including “Stories and Songs of Salmon” with Yurok storyteller Jene McCovey and folksinger Joanne Rand, as well as a technical assistance forum with Sungnome Madrone.
Saturday evening there was a traditional salmon dinner prepared by the Yurok tribe and a campfire with Joanne Rand. Sunday morning workshops included “Field Collecting and General Identification of Macroinvertebrates” with entomologist John Lee, and a tour of Klamath River Restoration Projects led by Dan Gale of the Yurok Fisheries Department.