Moss covered logs and ferns surround a stream at the Headwaters Forest Preserve.
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Arcata Field Office

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Headwaters Fish and Wildlife 


Headwaters was established as an ecological reserve to preserve the last remaining unprotected stand of old growth redwood forest and the flora and fauna that inhabit it.

There are 3 wildlife species inhabiting the Reserve that are a candidate for listing or listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The threatened species are the marbled murrelet and the northern spotted owl and candidate for listing is the Pacific fisher. 

marbled murrlet sitting on a nest high in the redwood canopy

 A sibling pair of northern spotted owls in Headwaters

Image of pacific fisher captured with a wildlife camera in Headwaters.

There are two federally threatened fish populations that inhabit the South Fork of the Elk River within Headwaters. These are coho salmon and steelhead trout. Chinook salmon also inhabit the South Fork of the Elk River. Salmon Creek, on the south end of Headwaters, contains resident cutthroat trout.
Image of spawning salmon in the South Fork Elk River within Headwaters. Upper Salmon Creek in Headwaters  Closeup image of a steelhead trout.


Headwaters Forest Reserve

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National Conservation Lands


Through its restoration and research and monitoring efforts, the BLM hopes to expand habitat for federally protected species and improve existing habitat conditions within Headwaters.

A dry gully in the old-growth in Headwaters

Upper Salmon Creek in Headwaters


Bureau of Land Management
Arcata Field Office
1695 Heindon Road
Arcata, CA 95521-4573
Phone: (707) 825-2300
Fax: (707) 825-2301
Office Hours: 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., M-F

Contact us by email at Headwaters@blm.gov