"For 3000 to 5000 years, [Pacific NW] coastal rivers had flowed through groves of old-growth western red cedar, Douglas fir, western hemlock, and Sitka spruce. With their massive root structures, these giants protected stream banks from erosion. Forests buffered the effects of other natural disturbances such as droughts, floods, and even fires. The trees shaded the streams, keeping them cool. Logs that fell across the streams eventually worked their way into the channel, where they trapped gravel needed by the salmon [and steelhead] for spawning, and created pools where juvenile salmon reared. The large streamside cedars, firs, and hemlocks played the most important role in stabilizing salmon habitat, and they were the first to be cut."
- Jim Lichatowich in "Salmon Without Rivers", Island Press