Hundreds of native trees and shrubs were planted on Sequim resident Jack Janis’ property to restore a diverse forest along the floodplain of the Dungeness River. (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Hundreds of native trees and shrubs were planted on Sequim resident Jack Janis’ property to restore a diverse forest along the floodplain of the Dungeness River. (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Landowners, restoration workers aim to improve health of Dungeness River

By Erin Hawkins

Olympic Peninsula News Group

SEQUIM — Landowners living along the Dungeness River are working with restoration crews to improve the health of the river and its inhabiting species.

Jack Janis is one of 60 residents with property on the river who have allowed a team involved in a Dungeness Repair and Recovery Project to take out invasive species of shrubs or trees and replace them with native plants.

“It’s beautiful. This is what Sequim was 150 years ago,” Janis said of the restoration work the crew did on his property.

“I could not believe the effort that went into this thing.”

The project started in 2013 with funding from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to work with property owners along the Dungeness River to help restore the floodplain by creating a diverse forest.

Sara Doyle, stewardship coordinator for the North Olympic Salmon Coalition and District 1 representative on the Jefferson County Noxious Weed Control board, said the river has changed a lot throughout the years.

The salmon coalition is working with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and the Clallam County Noxious Weed Control Board to remove invasive plants such as butterfly bush from the river’s floodplain and restore it with native plants such as western red cedar and western hemlock.

These native plants help restore salmon habitat and create pollinator areas for birds, bees and butterflies, Doyle said.

“Overall, our goal is to have a diverse forest — any planting we do has shrubs and trees,” Doyle explained.

So far, the team has removed an estimated 70 acres of butterfly bush and completed 70 acres of planting and seeding.

Doyle said butterfly bush is becoming a species of concern and the Dungeness has one of the worst infestations in Washington state.

The salmon coalition contracts a Washington Conservation Corps crew of six people to take out invasive plants, and to seed and plant new native plants on residential or public property.

“They do everything,” Janis said. “They came out and wrapped all these trees and shrubs,” he added, explaining the wrapping acts as a small greenhouse to help the plants grow and protects the plants as the crew works.

The crew planted an estimated 400 trees and shrubs on Janis’ property. The service was provided free of charge.

The crew took out Janis’ blackberry bushes and English ivy plants and replaced them with paper birch trees, mock orange, western hemlock, vine maple, Indian plum, ninebark, red osier dogwood, red alder and red western cedar.

“It’s really been wonderful engaging landowners in the river,” Doyle said.

“It’s been wonderful to hear their stories and connect them with the restoration work, helping them feel like they can make a difference.”

The crew will continuously work with the landowners over time to help them maintain their property. It will continue to visit the site to check on the plants and replace any dead ones with new ones and help with site maintenance.

“The attitude of these people, they want to do well,” Janis said of the crew’s efforts.

“There’s a future for America when I see jobs like this.”

________

Erin Hawkins is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach her at ehawkins@sequimgazette.com.

Hundreds of native trees and shrubs were planted on Sequim resident Jack Janis’ property to restore a diverse forest along the floodplain of the Dungeness River. (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Hundreds of native trees and shrubs were planted on Sequim resident Jack Janis’ property to restore a diverse forest along the floodplain of the Dungeness River. (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim resident Jack Janis gives a tour of his property where the North Olympic Salmon Coalition’s crew landscaped and planted hundreds of trees and shrubs in order to improve the health of the floodplain along the Dungeness River. (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim resident Jack Janis gives a tour of his property where the North Olympic Salmon Coalition’s crew landscaped and planted hundreds of trees and shrubs in order to improve the health of the floodplain along the Dungeness River. (Erin Hawkins/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

More in News

Pictured, from left, are Mary Kelso, Jane Marks, Barbara Silva and Linda Cooper.
School donation

The Port Angeles Garden Club donated $800 to the Crescent School in… Continue reading

Clayton Hergert, 2, along with is mother, Mandy Hergert of Port Angeles, sit at the bow of a U.S. Coast Guard response boat on display during Saturday’s Healthy Kids Day at the Port Angeles YMCA. The event, hosted by all three Olympic Peninsula YMCA branches, featured children’s activities designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and a love for physical activity. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Captain on deck

Clayton Hergert, 2, along with is mother, Mandy Hergert of Port Angeles,… Continue reading

Clallam County Fire District 3 commissioners agreed on April 2 to seek a real estate market analysis for Lost Mountain Station 36 after multiple attempts to seek volunteers to keep the station open. They’ll consider selling it and using funds for emergency supplies in the area, and offsetting construction costs for a new Carlsborg fire station. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Fire District to seek market analysis for station

Proceeds could help build new building in Carlsborg

John McKenzie. (Clallam County Fire District 3)
Sequim to bring back fire, safety inspections

Routine visits out of rotation for almost a year

Isaac Wendel, 11, left, and his mother Jennie Wendel of Port Angeles, comb the beach on the inside of Ediz Hook in Port Angeles on Saturday as part of a cleanup effort hosted by Washington CoastSavers in honor of Earth Day. Hundreds of volunteers fanned out across numerous beaches on Washington’s Pacific Coast and along the Strait of Juan de Fuca to collect trash and other unwanted debris. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Earth Day cleanup

Isaac Wendel, 11, left, and his mother Jennie Wendel of Port Angeles,… Continue reading

John Brewer.
Former longtime editor and publisher of PDN dies

John Brewer, 76, was instrumental in community

Randy Perry and Judy Reandeau Stipe, volunteer executive director of Sequim Museum & Arts, hold aloft a banner from "The Boys in the Boat" film Perry purchased and is loaning to the museum. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
‘Boys in the Boat’ banner to be loaned to museum

Sequim man purchases item shown in film at auction

Charisse Deschenes, first hired by the city of Sequim in 2014, departed this week after 10 years in various roles, including most recently deputy city manager/community and economic development director. (City of Sequim)
Deputy manager leaves Sequim

Community, economic development position open

Hoko River project seeks salmon recovery and habitat restoration

Salmon coaltion takes lead in collaboration with Makah, Lower Elwha tribes

Clallam Transit’s zero-fare program off to successful start

Ridership is up and problems are down, general manager says