The Nature Conservancy announced this week that they have purchased ranchland in Shasta, California and hope to return Big Springs Creek to its former glory as a major salmon run.
The organization noticed the creek’s consistent, glacier-fed flowing water supply should make it the perfect spawning area for the embattled Pacific salmon, but it wasn’t being properly cared for. Years later, they’ve purchased 4,136 acres of surrounding land and plan to fence off the creek to protect it.
Since the stream is glacier-fed, the waters should stay cool even throughout the summer. While other streams and tributaries warm in the face of climate change, scientists predict this stream could act as a safe haven for breeding salmon, which prefer cold waters.
Unfortunately, cows have trampled the banks of the stream, causing the channel to widen and water temperatures to rise. Additionally, the creek has been used for crop irrigation, further draining the water.
Photo Credit: Mary-Lynn on Flickr under Creative Commons license.