PORT ANGELES — Strategies for saving what stewards of Ennis Creek call “our last, best chance of a salmon stream in Port Angeles” will be the topic of Peninsula College’s Studium Generale on Thursday.
The film, “Ennis — A Creek Worth Saving,” will lead off the virtual event at 12:30 p.m., held via Zoom. To join the free Zoom meeting, go to enniscreekfilm. The meeting ID is 824 1915 5703.
“Friends of Ennis Creek” leaders, including former college journalism instructor and student newspaper adviser Robbie Mantooth, will follow the film with a conversation about how Ennis might avoid the fate of other Port Angeles streams with lower chances of salmonid — salmon and steelhead — recovery.
Participants in the conversation will include film narrator Lee Strucker; former Peninsula Daily News editor and publisher John Brewer; North Olympic Land Trust Executive Director Tom Sanford; and retired pediatrician and Friends co-founder Jim Mantooth.
John Gussman, owner of Doubleclick Productions, provided pro bono work to make the film after Mantooth told him she wished he would make a documentary about Ennis Creek like he had made on removal of the Elwha River dams, called Return of the River.
Friends of Ennis Creek raised funds to cover some of Gussman’s expenses with North Olympic Land Trust contributing fiscal agent services.
The Land Trust protects portions of Ennis Creek in perpetuity through conservation easement agreements with property owners similar to those that protect area farms, forests and other habitat lands.
Robbie and Jim Mantooth, who are protecting about a half-mile of Ennis Creek and nearly 50 acres through such an agreement, established Friends of Ennis Creek about a decade ago.
Its activities first provided information about the Department of Ecology’s work related to hazardous wastes remaining alongside the stream after the Rayonier mill closed in 1997.
Friends of Ennis Creek has created a program called “Habitat Heroes,” which offers a pledge to “help with our last best chance of a salmon stream in Port Angeles” through clean water, trees, stream flow and advocacy on behalf of the fish.
Letters to property owners adjoining the stream have invited them to sign the pledge. Friends also has encouraged a Conservation Corridor extending from the stream’s origins in Olympic National Park’s Mount Angeles and Heather Park areas to encourage voluntary restoration and protection.
Robbie Mantooth said her background in teaching and working in communications has been valuable in saving the stream’s wildlife, which includes cutthroat trout as well as steelhead, coho salmon and other species.
“It’s very rewarding to be part of the stewardship the tribal people have provided for millennia,” she said. “It’s a legacy that will continue long after our own lifetimes.”