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Elwha Forest Fund

Protect the Elwha River Watershed - Stop the Power Plant Timber Sale

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Organized by Earth Law Center


Washington State's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) just auctioned a critical 126 acre stretch of Forest called "Power Plant" to the highest bidder for extractive logging. Logging activity could begin soon -- forever ruining this vibrant forest ecosystem along the banks of the Elwha River.


(Credit: © Photos by forest2sea.com). “Power Plant” timber sale consists of several units, totaling approximately 126 acres. Units 3 and 4 are adjacent to the River itself, with others units in critical headwaters and along the Olympic Adventure Trail, a popular hiking destination.

Donate Today!

Your donation is our best chance!  DNR sells timber to generate revenue for beneficiaries, like counties, schools, libraries, and fire districts. The revenue from "Power Plant" to these beneficiaries is $459,200. Of course, DNR shouldn't be logging in this area at all. Period. But, with this money in hand DNR no longer has any excuse to log AND we can fund critical services for an underserved rural community. We aim to make a deal to "buy out" the extractive timber harvest lease, so we can protect this forest rather than log it. 

We know this is a novel approach, so we are happy to refund your donation if we can't "buy out" the Power Plant timber harvest lease. It's your choice to keep your money in the fund so we can use it to protect other critical forests in the Elwha Watershed or get a refund. 

Donors of $1,000 or more will receive a credit in the upcoming documentary film about the Elwha River made by Wild Rivers with Tillie.  The Aquarius Water Experience Foundation has generously agreed to match the first $25,000 in donations! 

*If you wish to make a substantial donation and have questions please contact Elizabeth at [email protected]

Take Action!

Public Lands Commissioner (and WA gubernatorial candidate) Hilary Franz can still CANCEL the sale and SAVE this forest. Please tell her to cancel "Power Plant" NOW - (360) 902-1004 or [email protected].  Click HERE to send a pre-written email. 



(Credit: © Photos by forest2sea.com) Elwha River Valley

As Indigenous Peoples – stewards of the lands and rivers here since time immemorial – we know that all life is interconnected. A river needs a healthy forest, and salmon need a healthy river. As Wy-Kan-Ush-Pum or “Salmon People”, we know that our own well-being is inseparable from healthy ecosystems.” – Honorable Paulette Jordan

Where are the Elwha River Watershed Legacy Forests?

The iconic Elwha River is 45-miles long and runs through the Olympic Peninsula in the State of Washington. The mature, legacy forests near the river are an integral part of the Elwha River Watershed. The river became famous when the Federal Government removed its dams making it the largest dam removal in US History, completed in 2014.

Unfortunately, the growth of the logging industry that led to the dam building that choked life from the River for nearly a century still threatens holistic restoration of the Elwha River Watershed.

Despite $327 million in federal funding for restoration, Washington State continues to compromise the River's regeneration by engaging in industrial logging practices in very close proximity to the River itself. 


(Credit: © Photos by forest2sea.com). "Aldwell" timber sale during harvest.



                                 (Credit: @John Gussman). "Aldwell" timber sale post-harvest.

Elwha Forests are the life source of many iconic and endangered animals, including Owls, Salmon, Southern Resident Orcas, and Marbled Murrelet to name a few. A juvenile marbled murrelet was found less than a few miles from the proposed harvest. 


Endangered Marbled Murrelet found near "Power Plant" Forest


Scientific evidence shows that this industrial logging:

  • threatens in-stream River flows and recovering salmon populations, and, in turn, the critically endangered Southern Resident Orcas;
  • decimates wildlife corridors;
  • destroys soil health;
  • leads to the spread of toxic herbicides;
  • wipes out essential carbon sinks; and
  • threatens the sole drinking water supply for over 25,000 people in and around the small rural town of Port Angeles, WA.


(Credit: Center for Whale Research)

Why protect legacy forests?

"Power Plant" is not only along the banks of the iconic Elwha River, it is on the verge of becoming a legacy forest. Legacy forests are older, structurally complex forests, often containing a number of old-growth trees. These forests retain the biological, structural, and genetic legacies of the natural forests that once dominated the Pacific NW. Legacy forests in the Pacific NW are a haven for biodiversity and among the very best in the world at carbon storage and sequestration. Legacy forests have unique ecological, social, cultural, and spiritual attributes. If clearcut today, they are irreplaceable in the time frame necessary to mitigate the climate and biodiversity crisis. There are approximately 77,000 acres of unprotected legacy forests on land managed by Washington's Department of Natural Resources. 

Who we are 

We’re a grassroots coalition of people and non-profit organizations working to protect the Elwha River Watershed and legacy forests on the Olympic Peninsula. Visit our website Elwha Legacy Forests.


(Credit: © Photos by forest2sea.com)

Our Vision 

We envision a flourishing Elwha River Watershed, with protected and restored Forest ecosystems. Sanctuaries for humans and Nature alike.

Where will my money go?

Your tax deductible donation will go directly to "buying out" the "Power Plant" timber sale lease or to otherwise protect forests within the Elwha River Watershed (unless you check the refund box). Earth Law Center manages the fund. 

Under current law, the forested lands are owned by the State of Washington and held in trust for various beneficiaries. In the case of many forests on state land in the Elwha River Watershed, including the "Power Plant" forest, the beneficiaries are the County and junior taxing districts (such as libraries, schools, hospitals, and fire departments). In the normal course, the beneficiaries get the money from the timber sale post-harvest. So, your donations will not only protect this Forest, but will fund critical services for an underserved rural community.

This is a rapid response to the urgent need to protect these Forests. Hundreds of acres have already been lost. And we can’t afford to lose anymore.

                                            (Credit: © Photos by forest2sea.com)

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