Share Guide magazine





Sandy Bar Ranch on the Wild Klamath River
by Mark Dupont

Holistic Health Newsletter!


newNatural Weight Loss Program recommended by The Share Guide
learn more

About Share Guide

Holistic Health Articles

Health Directory




Contact us

Do you have a
Holistic Business?
Get listed in Share Guide's Holistic Health Directory for only $9.95 per month. For more info
Click Here

Each Fall anglers and hikers along the Klamath River and its tributaries can witness one of nature's most exhilarating events--the return of the salmon from the ocean. The salmon and steelhead migration is a natural phenomenon on a par with the buffalo of the great plains--a massive movement of a species that once provided sustenance, fueled myth and inspired awe. Each year the great fish are called from the expanse of the Pacific to an arduous journey of hundreds of miles to the high mountain streams of their origin.

Sandy Bar Ranch is located on the Klamath River, the sixth largest watershed in the Pacific Northwest. The river carries water originating high in the snow-capped Cascades past our cabins, and brings schools of migrating salmon and steelhead up from the Pacific to spawn in its tributaries. On any given day one can see osprey, river otters, bald eagles, deer, fox, great blue heron or even bear along its banks.

As our familiarity with the river has expanded beyond the short stretch of it that we call home, we have learned that our lives are intimately connected with its entire length.

Located in the Karuk Homelands, our small rural community of Orleans, CA encompasses a diverse community of Native Americans, organic farmers, Forest Service personnel, artisans and local business people. Sandy Bar Ranch serves as a gateway to the trails and rivers of the surrounding Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains, and as an educational facility offering workshops on a variety of topics.

On the Ranch you'll find an organic garden, a fruit tree nursery and home crafts. We are a collective enterprise dedicated to stewardship of the land and the sustainable management of natural resources held in trust for future generations.

Salmon and steelhead have always played a primary role in life along the Klamath River. For centuries Native Americans have relied on the salmon for sustenance, and still fish along the banks of the Klamath with traditional dip nets. Old-timers on the river tell of times when the salmon runs were so dense, a person could walk across the river on the backs of the great fish. Because the Klamath River is sparsely populated and has no major industries along its banks, it has long been recognized for its importance as an adromous fish habitat.

Encompassing over 10 million acres, the Klamath River watershed is the largest between the Columbia and the Sacramento Rivers. It is home to four Native American tribes, and supports more than one third of the commercial ocean fish catch between Fort Bragg, California and Coos Bay, Oregon.

Salmon and steelhead are indicator species. Because their life cycle encompasses so much of the watershed, from small tributaries all the way to the ocean, their presence and the stability of their numbers are a barometer which tells us about the health of our forests and rivers. The story being told now is an alarming one. We are on the brink of losing these fish due to a number of factors, including habitat destruction and low river flows.

But despite the pressures and challenges, the Klamath remains one of the wildest rivers in the Pacific Northwest. In the fall of 1995 we witnessed the salmon return in record numbers. The sight of the mighty fish leaping through white water is truly awe-inspiring. Yet we are reminded by the Karuk Elders that the fish are but a fraction of their former numbers.

Pat Higgins, a Fisheries Scientist who worked on the Long Range Restoration Plan for the Klamath River and has led tours at Sandy Bar Ranch, states that the Klamath holds the most promise of any of the Pacific Northwest rivers for preservation and restoration of the salmon and steelhead.

We encourage you to visit this spectacular region. It is important to experience the salmon, the forests and wild rivers for yourself. The wilderness provides peace, adventure and inspiration for stewardship. We at Sandy Bar Ranch can connect you with conservation groups working to protect the Klamath region. We can also point you in the direction of wilderness trails, arrange whitewater rafting trips, and organize EcoTours (for groups of ten or more).

Those of us concerned about our rivers and forests must make our voices heard. The salmon will continue to be called back from the oceans to spawn in the streams of their birth; it is up to us to make sure that the waters run clean for them. If we participate in shaping the future of our public lands and waters, then we can preserve the natural beauty that we now enjoy for generations to come. And maybe some day our grandchildren will walk across the river on the backs of salmon.

For more information on how to contribute to the effort of Klamath River preservation, or for travel/reservation information for Sandy Bar Ranch, see their listing under Travel & Retreats in The Share Guide's Holistic Health Directory.


If you liked this interview, you'll love The Share Guide's
Holistic Health Newsletter. Subscribe for free!

Home Health Directory Articles Index Interviews Index

Reviews Links About Share Guide Contact us

About Share Guide


Health Directory



Contact us

Free Media Kit

Get Newsletter

Avertising Info
Subscribe to magazine

Search this site

copyright 2004--The Share Guide--All rights reserved