Conserve and care for the vital lands, waters, and wildlife of the Columbia River region through sound science and strong relationships.
The Pacific Northwest is a vast fabric of vital and productive lands and waters that are conserved, connected, and cared for, ensuring a thriving diversity of life. Natural areas and our lives intertwine, and people know, love, and respect the beauty and importance of nature. Human communities, including neighborhoods, businesses, farms, ranches, and working forests, complement the natural world, which provides all people well-being and an unrivaled quality of life.
What We Do:
Here at Columbia Land Trust, what we do is simple: We conserve and care for the heart of the Northwest, the places that make ours an incredible region to live, work, raise a family, and grow old in. Wetlands and oak woodlands. Columbia River tributaries and Columbia River shores. Forests both wild and working. Natural areas in urban strongholds and wide-open spaces that anchor rural communities.
We work with urgency and with purpose. Population forecasts in both Oregon and Washington show a steady increase of people; in both states the majority of the increase is due to net migration—people moving here from elsewhere. That projected growth puts tremendous pressure on our land and water, including wildlife habitat, working forests, and farms.
For us, the message is clear: The time to conserve the Northwest is now.
Our lands have high conservation value, whether as working landscapes or as habitat for plants and wildlife. We work respectfully with willing landowners to either buy land or to help them place a conservation easement on their property. This legal tool permanently limits development or other uses on a piece of land, to ensure that, say, a family farm does not become a site for houses. Our stewardship team then builds long-term management plans for each place, based on the best available science, to ensure the land we own is as healthy as it can be.
We are committed to being good stewards, neighbors, and community members; we reject an us-versus-them mentality that leads to roadblocks. Land conservation can bring people together. We all value land, water, and wildlife (though not always in the same way). Differences do not dissuade us—they inspire us to find smarter, better solutions. It’s not always easy, but we find places where our values intersect.
Our positive, relationship-based approach has helped us become one of the most respected land trusts in the country. To date, we’ve conserved more than 50,000 acres and we have more than 3,700 supporters. Our work region now encompasses two states (Oregon and Washington) and 15,000 square miles around the Columbia River and its many tributaries, in an area stretching from The Dalles to the Pacific Ocean.