With support from Columbia Land Trust, Clark County is conserving 150 acres of prime wildlife habitat along Flume Creek, just south of Ridgefield, Washington.
Clark County will begin maintaining prime wildlife habitat east of Lake River near the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge after taking title to the property following formal approval by the Board of County Councilors on May 26.
The 150-acre conservation area is primarily along Flume Creek immediately south of Ridgefield, although portions are within Ridgefield city limits. It provides habitat to more than 30 species native to Clark County.
“This is one of the most ecologically important regions in Southwest Washington,” said Don Benton, the county’s director of Environmental Services, which oversees the local Legacy Lands program.
“I was proud to recommend this acquisition to the County Council. We leveraged resources from many sources to protect a magnificent site. The county now has a unique opportunity to plan for the public to enjoy and learn about the lower Columbia River ecosystem.”
The area includes mature forest, shorelines, riparian habitat, wetlands and floodplains with habitat supporting great blue herons, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, pileated woodpeckers, neotropical migrant birds and additional wildlife.
Columbia Land Trust provided substantial technical expertise to help the county secure the property valued at $2.1 million, using county property taxes from the Conservation Futures fund and a grant from the state’s urban wildlife habitat program.
“We are committed to work with the county to conserve critically important places, in this case one of the premier forested properties overlooking Columbia River lowlands” said Glenn Lamb, executive director of the land trust.
Since 1990, the county and the land trust have collaborated on numerous projects to conserve open space to benefit people and wildlife.