Habitat, public access improved at Preacher's Slough
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Habitat, public access improved at Preacher's Slough 
 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                                                                         
June 1, 2011

Habitat, public access improved at Preachers Slough
New bridge gives better boat access to shoreline at Chehalis River Surge Plain Natural Area Preserve

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has completed work on a new bridge at Preachers Slough Road, which provides public access to the Chehalis River shoreline. However, DNR will temporarily close access to the bridge for roadwork during the week of June 6. 

The bridge project is located within the Chehalis River Surge Plain Natural Area Preserve (NAP), east of Aberdeen and Cosmopolis. The new 80-foot concrete bridge replaces a large road fill that for many years blocked natural tidal and freshwater flow in Preachers Slough. This project provides access for juvenile salmon to quality rearing habitat within the wetland and sloughs. By restoring water flow from the river to the wetland, the floodplain will once again function naturally.

The Chehalis River Surge Plain consists of an extraordinary Sitka spruce-forested wetland with winding tidal sloughs—the only wetland of this size and quality in Washington State.

Improved public boat access
Preacher’s Slough Road leads to the Chehalis River shoreline where public access is provided for bank fishing and access to the river. Adjacent to the parking area—which is also being improved—a new ‘cartop’ boat launch is being designed for canoes, kayaks, and other small boats.  A shoreline trail will lead from the parking area to bank fishing spots that have been used by area residents for many years. DNR welcomes input on the project. Please contact the project manager, Birdie Davenport, at 360-902-1434.

Conservation an important part of DNR
DNR manages more than 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, range, commercial, agricultural, aquatic, and diverse conservation lands. Of these, the 134,000 acres of Natural Resources Conservation Areas and Natural Area Preserves are managed to protect rare and threatened species as well as high-quality examples of the native ecosystems and landscapes of Washington. Research and monitoring are important activities in natural areas, as is low-impact public access for hiking, birding and other natural observations and study. 

DNR is administered by Peter Goldmark, Washington’s 13th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889.

Media Contact: Jane Chavey, Senior Communications Manager, 360-902-1721, jane.chavey@dnr.wa.gov  

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