Cozy Valley Property

Project Description: This project was developed with the holistic approach to enhance upper headwater reaches for both salmon and terrestrial wildlife, with the goal to continue enhancing further downstream with similar restoration methods. Cozy Valley is a remnant prehistoric glacial lake, the outline of the valley shows the outer edges of this lake, and the remaining soils contain heavy peat and organic materials. This supports the idea that the valley was underwater for many years. The Cozy Valley tributary is a stream system that evolved through time and was a meandering stream that drained the surface water from Crawford Mountain.

Once pioneers arrived in this area, and settlers started to use the valley floor, it became heavily ditched and drained to support early agricultural practices. One hundred years ago, the idea was to remove the water a quickly as possible, keeping the fields dry and usable for more months in a year. Amazingly, the fish and wildlife continued to try and use these ditches, and changed the life uses in these specific reaches.

With the existence of fish and wildlife use, and heavy agricultural practices are no longer necessary, it was recognized that in stream enhancements and restoration was important. The long-term goal for this project is to create more complexity within the stream system for more natural salmon habitat, to slow down the high velocities in the straightened ditches, adding large snags and a diverse mixture of native trees, shrubs, and plants for a true riparian zone, thus creating future shade and terrestrial wildlife habitat. The end results would take decades to physically come to fruition, but the sooner we got started, the sooner the habitat would be fully functional and self sustaining.
Now, the pond is thriving with beaver and amphibians, the trees and shrubs are emerging and some have grown to 10 to 20 feet (dependant on species), and the large woody debris has slowed down the system, creating more pools and habitat for fish.

Watershed: Chehalis River Basin Sub-basin: Scatter Creek Tributary: Cozy Valley Creek
Habitat type: Upper Headwaters tributary and wetlands
Acreage: Approximately 12 acres
Wildlife usages: water fowl, raptors, amphibians, salmonids, raccoons, deer, elk, bobcat,
beaver, river otter, blue heron,

Project Milestones:

  • Summer of 1999 project was one of the first Salmon Recovery Funding Board funded grants in our basin
  • August 2000 – Construction started – 3 – old 2ft failing culverts removed , 2 access roads abandoned, and new 1 – 12 ft culvert installed, instream micro-flood plain constructed, 6 large snags installed around pond and stream, and large woody debris placed in the stream system
  • September 2000 – 25 large 15ft to 25 ft trees installed around stream and micro-flood plain
  • October 2000 – Mixture of 600 deciduous and conifer trees planted around pond and stream by Washington State Conservation Corps
  • June – October 2001 – lunched annual Cozy Valley Stream Temperature Monitoring Program – installing 6 to 10 hobo loggers throughout Cozy Valley Tributary to capture summer temperature data to monitor long term affects of tree planting and shade provisions
  • June – October 2002 – continued Cozy Valley Stream Temperature Monitoring
  • February 2003 – regional students back planted additional mixture of 400 deciduous and conifer trees and shrubs around pond
  • June – October 2003 – continued Cozy Valley Stream Temperature Monitoring
  • June – October 2004 – continued Cozy Valley Stream Temperature Monitoring
  • March 2005 – regional students back planted additional mixture of 400 deciduous and conifer trees and shrubs around pond and stream
  • June – October 2005 – continued Cozy Valley Stream Temperature Monitoring
  • June – October 2006 – continued Cozy Valley Stream Temperature Monitoring
  • October 2007 – regional students back planted additional mixture of 250 deciduous and conifer trees and shrubs around pond and stream
  • June – October 2007 – continued Cozy Valley Stream Temperature Monitoring
  • June – October 2008 – continued Cozy Valley Stream Temperature Monitoring
  • June – October 2009 – continued Cozy Valley Stream Temperature Monitoring
  • June – October 2010 – continued Cozy Valley Stream Temperature Monitoring
  • June – October 2011 – continued Cozy Valley Stream Temperature Monitoring

Education Opportunities:

  • Site monitoring and maintenance
  • Riparian plantings
  • Invasive plant removal
  • Water quality monitoring
  • Ecosystem and species ID workshops
  • Data gathering and analysis
  • Bird watching
  • Volunteer Opportunities:
  • Site monitoring and maintenance
  • Riparian plantings
  • Invasive plant removal
  • Water quality monitoring
  • Data gathering and analysis

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