In 2004, DNR designated 3,700-acres —an area of private and public lands surrounding the existing Kitsap Forest Natural Area Preserve as the Stavis Natural Resource Conservation Area (NRCA). Burned by a forest fire 130 years ago, the NRCA is known for its naturally regenerated forest communities comprised of Douglas-fir, western hemlock, western redcedar and western white pine. Few forest stands this old remain on the Kitsap Peninsula due to logging, development and land conversion.
As a result, mature forest communities in the NRCA are a high priority for protection. The Douglas-fir, western
hemlock, evergreen huckleberry forest found at Stavis NRCA represents one of the best examples of this plant community in the world.
The NRCA includes the east and west forks of Stavis Creek which drains into Hood Canal, where the summer chum salmon run is federally listed as threatened. Stavis Creek is an important salmon recovery area, providing quality spawning ground and juvenile habitat. The NRCA also provides protection for high-quality freshwater wetlands and habitat for black-tailed deer, black bear and many other species.
Historically, the approximately 120 acre property, which includes 1400 feet of Hood Canal shoreline, was homesteaded in the late 1800s and had additional owners since that time. By the time of DNRs purchase, the site included nine structures, a 750 foot bulkhead, and a channelized stream.
Over the past few years, the buildings were deconstructed and materials were recycled or salvaged for reuse in 2009. The stream was then re-meandered, 240 pieces of large woody debris were installed and the bulkhead and 11,000cuyds of fill were removed to recreate a pocket estuary. Last winter the site was replanted with native vegetation and will continue to be monitored and maintained by DNR crews.
For more photos of Stavis Creek visit our Flickr page.
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