Ten ways you made a difference for the nature of the northwest in 2016.
It wasn’t always easy (meaningful conservation rarely is), but with your support, we were able to protect and restore important places throughout the Columbia River region while building strong relationships along the way. From the remote forests of Klickitat Canyon to backyard habitats in urban neighborhoods, take a look back at some of our greatest accomplishments of 2016.
We are poised to do so much more in 2017. Please consider renewing your commitment to conserving the iconic lands, waters, and wildlife that make the Northwest so amazing.
1.) In February, the Land Trust acquired a key 115-acre property on Mill Creek Ridge, west of the Dalles in Wasco County, Oregon. With this acquisition, we achieved the long-term goal of connecting more than 300 acres of up-ridge and down-ridge lands conserved since 2006.
2.) In March, we conserved 541 acres within Vancouver’s city limits in support of sandhill cranes, which are listed as endangered in the State of Washington. We’re currently farming the land for grains, affording cranes both food and flat, open staging areas.
3.) Just two weeks ago, we conserved 2,400 acres in Klickitat Canyon, an ecological gem that includes mixed-conifer forests and three miles of the Klickitat River. The conserved property’s community forest designation allows for multiple uses, including managing the land for forestry to the benefit of contractors, mills, and communities throughout the Klickitat region.
With these successes and additional acquisitions on Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula and the East Fork Lewis River, Columbia Land Trust leveraged your support into the permanent conservation of more than 3,000 acres in 2016 alone.
UPDATE: Just under the wire for 2016 (December 30th), we acquired 374 acres of wetland and upland forest habitat at Seal Slough along Willapa Bay. That brings our 2016 grand total up to 3,526 acres conserved!
4.) Throughout 2016, we planted thousands of trees across the region, and contracted locally to thin forests, putting them on a trajectory toward more natural conditions and improving habitat for area wildlife. In a single January day, volunteers and staff planted 1,000 willows on the Land Trust’s Kandoll Farm property in the Grays Bay watershed
6.) We restored riverside and forest habitat on tributaries throughout the lower Columbia River system, including Rock Creek in Clark County and the Lower Hood River just outside of Hood River, Oregon. We also consulted with partners re-opening a side channel on one of our properties along the Sandy River in Clackamas County.
7.) Together with The Audubon Society of Portland, we gave roughly 500 homeowners, tenants, and organizations the tools and resources to create urban wildlife habitat in their own backyards in 2016. We looked at how this process of supporting nature close to home is having a transformative effect on people from all walks of life. The program has now enrolled more than 3,400 properties covering 820 urban acres.
8.) We led educational tours and volunteer events on our lands, fostering a culture of curiosity and stewardship. From stargazing on a family-run, organic farm to sniffing out wildlife with Conservation Canines, our tours combined education and outdoor exploration.
9.) We helped connect people of all ages with nature. We endorsed Outdoor School for All and partnered with local agencies to host field trips on our lands. Meanwhile. our Emerging Leaders Council led a Habitap event to help engage younger generations around local conservation.
10.) We explored some of the many ways in which the people of the Columbia River region connect with the land. Our conversations and collaborations affirmed our strong belief that for all Northwesterners—young and old, farmers and foresters, hunters and city dwellers—a love of the land is our common ground.
None of this would have been possible without the support of people like you. Thank you for protecting the nature of the northwest now and for generations to come. We wish you health and happiness in the new year.