By conserving 87 acres along the north shore of Lacamas Lake, our partners at the City of Camas are rounding out a 30-year vision to build a landmark recreation resource in Southwest Washington.
The Columbian recently highlighted The City of Camas’s vote to purchase 87 acres of land north of Lacamas Lake in Clark County in early April. The article by Jack Heffernan explains that the purchases cap off a 30-year conservation effort to create a trail around the lake, establishing a significant regional recreation attraction. Columbia Land Trust has long partnered with The City of Camas, the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, and Clark County on the project. The Lacamas Lake loop trail is one of 12 Clark County projects supported by a $7 million bond passed in 2017, and managed through the county’s Legacy Lands Program with support and guidance from the Land Trust.
The county’s project slate includes small parks projects led by city governments, trail projects led by local governments, larger projects led by coalitions and partnerships, large-landscape conservation of working forests and wildlife habitat, and thoughtful conservation of agricultural lands that provide local food, economic, cultural, and habitat benefits, all of which support a broader vision for the future of Clark County.
Read the full article in The Columbian to learn more about how this recent conservation success at Lacamas Lake. Additional information about the land purchases can be found in a story by Lacamas Magazine, published prior to the City of Camas’s vote. Two maps in the article offer a side-by-side comparison of the north shore of the lake could look like if the two properties were developed versus if they were conserved as part of the Lacamas Lake Trail vision. Now that the properties have successfully been conserved, plans for a recreational loop trail are moving forward. City officials expect plans could involve closing Northeast Leadbetter Road adjacent to the north side of the lake to vehicular traffic and repurposing it as a bike and pedestrian trail.
In a time of crisis, more and more people have been seeking solace in the outdoors and embracing the mental and physical health benefits of having access to open space nearby. With this recent conservation success, residents of Camas and folks across the entire Portland-Vancouver metro area are now a major step closer to gaining an important community resource. The region’s wildlife will also benefit from the conservation of 87 acres of lakeside forest habitat in an area that is being rapidly developed. The Land Trust is happy to see a project moving forward that will help people and wildlife thrive together for generations to come.