Rep. Herrera Beutler and Senator Cantwell admire the celebratory cake design.
National elected officials help commemorate a monumental achievement on Mount St. Helens.

On Monday, September 10, Columbia Land Trust hosted a gathering with project partners to celebrate the completion of the Mount St. Helens Forest Conservation Area, a 12-year effort that ultimately protected 20,000 acres of some of the Northwest’s highest-quality working forests. Special guests U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler both lauded the project as a success not only for the wildlife of the area’s forests and streams but also for the region’s vital forestry and outdoor recreation economies. Project partners, including the Washington Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service, Skamania County, and timber company Pope Resources, attended the Mount St. Helens Celebration, which was held at the Ed & Dollie Lynch estate in Vancouver, Washington.

The Mount St. Helens Forest Conservation Area offers an innovative model for private-public collaboration that supports local communities through forestry while also conserving iconic Northwest forests and wildlife habitat. The conservation area also highlights the value of the Forest Legacy Program, which is administered by the U.S. Forest Service and funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

Read full coverage of the event in The Columbian, and watch the local news segment aired by KATU News.

View photos from the event on our Facebook page.