Although the Ohop Valley Restoration Project primarily benefits salmonids that live in the creek, the project has had ancillary benefits on wildlife and birds that use the area. To document some of those benefits, the Nisqually Indian Tribe contracted ICF International to complete a wildlife use survey throughout the valley in 2015.
The project monitored culturally important species, such as elk, deer, and beaver, as well as bird species. Biologists used wildlife cameras, ground transects, nest surveys, and other monitoring techniques to gather data. Prior to the study, some baseline information had been collected. For example, the Nisqually Land Trust collaborated with Northwest Trek to host citizen science-based surveys in the basin. Local knowledge also helped provide a glimpse into past wildlife use. Beyond that, however, little information was available.
The results of the study showed that elk were the most detected mammal species in the valley, documented through images and signs (tracks, scat, etc) observed during ground transects. In fact, over 75% of all images captured were of elk. The study documented increased beaver activity on the site, and over 55 bird species were detected during the surveys.
Troy Rahmig (ICF International) presented on the results of the study at the February 2016 Nisqually River Council meeting. His presentation is available here, and a copy of the full study is available here.