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Native Species

Fred Rabe Photo

The rich diverse forests of the Clearwater provide important habitat for numerous native species including bald eagles, Black-backed woodpeckers, harlequin ducks, elk, deer, moose and mountain goats. Rare habitat types like Coastal-disjunct support plant species such as Pacific dogwood, red alder, and more. The Clearwater also provides crucial habitat for Bull trout, steelhead and Chinook salmon, all of which are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Rare carnivores like Canada lynx, wolverines and the Northern Rockies Fisher can also be found here. The Clearwater offers excellent habitat for gray wolves, and historically supported a robust population of grizzly bears before they were wrongfully extirpated in the 20th Century. An individual grizzly bear was shot and killed in 2007 by the client of an outfitter in the Kelly Creek area on the Clearwater National Forest. We hope more bears will return on their own to the Clearwater soon.

In 2001, the World Wildlife Fund issued a study completed by Carroll et. al (2001) Carnivores as Focal Species For Conservation Planning in the Rocky Mountain Region, which suggested that the Clearwater Basin offers the best habitat for large carnivores anywhere in the Lower 48, including the Canadian Rockies. There is a direct link between the vast undeveloped wildlands in the Clearwater and the habitat needs of carnivores, particularly larger ones like the “Great Bear.” There are 1.5 million acres of unprotected roadless wildlands that Friends of the Clearwater works to permanently protect so that this rugged and essential habitat remains intact.

If we are to pass on this wild heritage to future generations, we need to recognize that the highly erodible soils, diverse riparian areas, and critical fish and wildlife habitat must take precedence over industrial and recreational development. Please work with us to keep Clearwater Country big and wild!

Below is a partial list of native species found in the Clearwater Basin. 

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Bald Eagle – Listed as “Sensitive Species” by Region 1 Forest Service

Beargrass

Belted Kingfisher

Black-backed Woodpecker – Listed as “Sensitive Species” by Region 1 Forest Service

Bull trout – Listed as “Threatened” under the Endangered Species Act

Canada lynx – Listed as “Threatened” under the Endangered Species Act

Chinook salmon – Listed as “Threatened” under the Endangered Species Act

Coeur d’ Alene Salamander – Listed as “Sensitive Species” by Region 1 Forest Service

Coyote

Gray Wolf – Listed as “Sensitive Species” by Region 1 Forest Service

Grizzly Bear – Listed as “Threatened” under the Endangered Species Act

Harlequin Duck – Listed as “Sensitive Species” by Region 1 Forest Service

Indian Paintbrush

Mountain Lady Slipper

Mountain Lion

Mule Deer

Northern Rockies Fisher – Listed as “Sensitive Species” by Region 1 Forest Service

Osprey

Pacific Dogwood – Listed as “Sensitive Species” by Region 1 Forest Service

Pacific Lamprey – Listed as “Sensitive Species” by Region 1 Forest Service

Pacific Yew

Pine Marten

Rocky Mountain Elk

Steelhead – Listed as “Threatened”under the Endangered Species Act

Western Sword Fern

Western Redcedar

Westslope Cutthroat – Listed as “Sensitive Species” by Region 1 Forest Service

Wolverine – Listed as “Sensitive Species” by Region 1 Forest Service