Bob Heirman Wildlife Park at Thomas’ Eddy
Dave Beck, Jr., a former Teamsters Union president, operated a gravel mining operation along the river. The site was purchased by the Palzer family and used for raising livestock and agriculture. When the site was to be subdivided and sold for housing, the Snohomish Sportsmen’s Association, led by Bob Heirman, led a campaign to preserve public access to one of the most popular steelhead fishing spots on the river. The Parks Department worked with the association to acquire the property.
With its unique setting and outstanding natural resources, Heirman Wildlife Preserve at Thomas’ Eddy offers the perfect location for viewing wildlife, walking, picnicking, fishing, and discovering the beauty and wonders of nature.
This natural preserve encompasses within its boundaries vast open spaces, two pristine lakes, fragile wetlands, and an extensive river environment. Heirman Wildlife Preserve at Thomas’ Eddy provides convenient fishing access to the Snohomish River.
The County’s work at Thomas’ Eddy proposes to reconnect the Snohomish River to the floodplain around Bob Heirman Wildlife Park, and improve or maintain opportunities for fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing while restoring critical habitat for wildlife and threatened salmon species. To ensure these goals are met, Snohomish County is soliciting early input on project design from the public and park user.
Much of the Park’s riverbank is a deteriorating levee – a relic of the past when the property was privately owned. Today, the levee cuts the river off from its floodplain and constrains its ability to create and maintain fish and wildlife habitat. This site is identified in the Snohomish River Basin Salmon Conservation Plan as a priority for restoration. This is because restoring the river’s connection to its floodplain will enhance juvenile salmon rearing opportunities and contribute to sustainable recreation and fishable salmon runs in the Snohomish River.