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Lyre Conservation Area

Project #: 257081  –   Updated: September 24, 2015

Project Summary

The Lyre Conservation Area is a 280-acre property is located along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, approximately 20 miles west of Port Angeles, just east of the Lyre River. The property contains a portion of the Lyre River estuary, over ½ mile of shoreline, over ½ mile of Nelson Creek, and approximately 2 miles of tributaries to Nelson Creek. There are 20 acres of undisturbed tidelands.

The Lyre River enters the strait in the northwest corner of the subject, although the river does not actually flow over any significant portion of the property. These waterways provide habitat for salmon a...

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Location (by county):
Clallam County (WA)

Watersheds:
Crescent-Hoko

Congressional Districts:
WA District 06

Bird Conservation Regions:
Northern Pacific Rainforest

USFWS Regions:
Pacific Region

Project size:
280.0 acres

Public Access

Site Name Publicly Accessible
Lyre Conservation Area - parking area Yes
Lyre Conservation Area - restoration site Yes

Full Project Description

The Lyre Conservation Area is a 280-acre property is located along the Strait of Juan de Fuca, approximately 20 miles west of Port Angeles, just east of the Lyre River. The property contains a portion of the Lyre River estuary, over ½ mile of shoreline, over ½ mile of Nelson Creek, and approximately 2 miles of tributaries to Nelson Creek. There are 20 acres of undisturbed tidelands.

The Lyre River enters the strait in the northwest corner of the subject, although the river does not actually flow over any significant portion of the property. These waterways provide habitat for salmon and other native fish. About half of the property is forested and roughly half consists of recently harvested land and a pasture area that is adjacent to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Lyre Conservation Area contains a diversity of habitats, including 8 priority habitats. This combination of habitats sustains a multitude of fish and wildlife species, including 18 priority species that have been documented on the property. The home range areas of many of these species include the adjacent state and federal lands, making this property a vital habitat link that ensures connectivity from mountain to shore along this river corridor.

The Lyre River drainage consists of approximately 85% public lands. The upper reaches of the river are on lands within Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest. The majority of the river flows through land managed by the Department of Natural Resources. The main concentration of private lands, including this property, are in the lower reaches of the river.

Vegetation

A plant survey conducted on 10/15/13 observed the following species:

Trees: Red Cedar, Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir, Red Alder, Big Leaf Maple, Willow, Western Hemlock, Vine Maple, Holly

Shrubs: Lonicera involucrata (a native honeysuckle); Hardhack, Spirea douglasii; Salmonberry, Himalayan blackberry, Thimbleberry, Bald hip rose, Salal, Native blackberry, Elderberry, Red Huckleberry,

Herbs: Cleavers, Red Clover, Western dock, Palmate coltsfoot, Cow parsnip, Sheep sorrel, Curly dock, Big deer vetch, springgold, Black medic, Big deer vetch, Fox glove, Plantain (Plantago lanceolata), Water parsley, Marsh marigold, Buttercup, Herb Robert, Skunk cabbage, Canada goldenrod

Ferns: Lady fern, Sword fern, Deer fern, Licorice Fern, Bracken Fern

The vegetation at Lyre Conservation Area is a combination of second growth forest with some residual old growth trees, man-made pastures, and recently harvested clear-cuts. The forested areas are a mixture of Douglas fir, western hemlock, sitka spruce, grand fir, and red alder. Douglas fir is dominant.

Wildlife

The property is extremely rich in species diversity. Previous biological assessments have resulted in the documentation of the following species on (or very near) to the property.

Nearshore kelp and shellfish beds are located near the mouth of the Lyre. Both red and green sea urchins, octopus and sea cucumbers have been reported in the offshore area. In addition, invertebrate spawning and many fish species occur in the marine environment. Harbor seals commonly haul-out on rocks located in the area. Both orcas and gray whales have been observed feeding as well near the river mouth.

At least 85 species of birds, including marine as well as forest and riparian dependent species, have been documented. A highly productive bald eagle nesting territory with 3 documented nest trees is located along the shoreline of the property. Besides eagles, peregrine falcons also have been seen in the area, and endangered marbled murrelets use the lower Lyre drainage area as a flight corridor and forage in the marine waters, including near the river mouth.

At least 18 species of terrestrial mammals, some with expansive home ranges throughout the watershed, have been found on the property. At least 4 known bat species are known to forage and roost on the property. Various species of amphibians, reptiles, and butterflies are residents of the area.

Coho, chum, and Chinook salmon, cutthroat trout and steelhead use the Lyre River or its tributaries for spawning. The Lyre River has one of the most abundant chum populations in the Strait, and is the only stream on the Olympic Peninsula with winter chum. They are unique in their late winter run timing. The Lyre also has a significant Coho population and a wild steelhead winter run population.

Goals and Targets

Primary motivations:

Conservation Mission
Forest and fish habitat conservation
Public Benefit
Shoreline access

Primary goals:

Protection of a vital estuary for an intact river system, the Lyre River, and critical nearshore salmon migration corridor along the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Progress:

Acquisition and protection complete.

Consistent with plans:

Habitat Conservation Plan
Part of this property includes priority #10 in the WRIA 19 North Olympic Land Trust (NOLT) Habitat Conservation Planning project, available at http://mhaggertyconsulting.com/WRIA_19-_NOLT_Project.php.

Targeted Ecosystem Services:

  • Habitat/Biodiversity
  • Endangered Species
  • Wetlands

Targeted habitats:

    • Aquatic
      • Estuarine
      • Marine
      • Rivers and Streams
    • Forests and Woodlands
      • Mixed Hardwoods and Conifer
    • Wetlands and Riparian Habitats

Targeted species:

  • Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus
  • Chinook Salmon - Puget Sound Oncorhynchus tshawytscha pop. 15
  • Coho Salmon - Olympic Peninsula Oncorhynchus kisutch pop. 6
  • Chum Salmon - Puget Sound/Straight of Georgia Oncorhynchus keta pop. 5
  • Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
  • Chum Salmon - Puget Sound/Straight of Georgia Oncorhynchus keta pop. 5
  • Steelhead - Puget Sound Oncorhynchus mykiss pop. 37

Actions

Project Actions
Control invasive plants Show/Hide details
Plant native riparian, wetland or aquatic vegetation Show/Hide details
Other: Removal of structures Show/Hide details

Assistance

Direct Funding
MSP (State Government) Show/Hide details
Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration fund (State Government) Show/Hide details
ESRP (State Government) Show/Hide details
Puget Sound Acquisition and Restoration fund (State Government) Show/Hide details
Technical Assistance
Project Engineering and Design Show/Hide details
In-Kind Contribution
Makah Tribe Show/Hide details

Outcomes

Is the success of this project's actions being monitored?   No/Unknown

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Organization

North Olympic Land Trust
(Non-Governmental Organization)

Primary Contact

Michele Canale
North Olympic Land Trust
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Partners

  • Puget Sound Partnership
  • North Olympic Peninsula Lead Entity
  • Makah Tribe
  • Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe
  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Clallam Conservation District

Project Photos

Brooks_streams_and_wetlands_detail

Project Keywords

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