Columbia River Gorge

Pierce Island from Beacon Rock. Photo by Tom Dempsey
  • Number of Projects:7
  • Acreage: 332
  • Fact: Typically an alpine species, a few American pika (the Northwest’s cutest critter) live in the Gorge—and no one knows why. Studies are determining how this mountain-loving species is adapting to lower elevations and higher temperatures.
  • Experience: The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area stretches 85 miles, a place where the river carves a sinewy path through dramatic, plunging cliffs. Its waterfalls, forests, wildflowers, and plentiful opportunities to explore nature define the great Northwest.
  • What We’re Doing: Restoring a Gorge island. Conserving lands around and adjacent to the Scenic Area. Helping partners achieve conservation goals and building on the protection afforded by the NSA designation.
Contact Us About This Project

The Big Picture

Named a National Scenic Area in 1986, the Columbia River Gorge is a world-renown destination. Since our beginnings, we’ve worked to ensure its natural splendor is conserved and cared for. Today, we are the owners and caretakers of Pierce Island, one of the most iconic Gorge islands, located just beneath Beacon Rock. Here we are improving habitat for spawning salmon, Roosevelt elk, raptors, and native plants. We also work with partners to ensure people can enjoy the Gorge’s splendor: Two of our properties permanently protect sections the flagship Cape Horn Trail.

Why It Matters

Protecting the Columbia River Gorge doesn’t stop at the boundary of the National Scenic Area. To protect the Gorge, we must protect rivers, and forests that surround it, including place like our lands on Wind River, an important river for Chinook, steelhead, and cutthroat trout. One example of the Gorge’s fragility? Some 800 species of wildflowers grow here, 15 of them nowhere else on Earth. Pierce Island, for example, is home to Rorippa Columbiae a state-endangered member of the yellowcress family known to grow in only two places in Washington. We are working to ensure its story does not become one of extinction.

Jumping spider (Habronattus americanus) by Thomas Shahan. Fieldbook, Spring 2018
Featured Story

Fieldbook Crawls Out for Spring

Our first edition of our 2018 Fieldbook magazine is now out!

Our newest edition of Fieldbook has all the wildlife and conservation stories you’re looking for this spring. In this issue, we break open some preconceived notions about unloved wildlife from moles to spiders, what it looks like to be an outdoors person, and how climate resilience informs our work. Learn how Jenny Bruso, self-identified fat,…

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Updates from the Field
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Announcing our 2018 Tour Lineup!
Explore the nature of the Northwest, fearlessly.

Columbia Land Trust tours offer unforgettable ways to experience the stunning landscapes of the Northwest and connect with people from all backgrounds. Our 2018 tour lineup offers new ways to get out and brings back some classic trips favored by many. We believe that the land can bring us together, wildlife can teach us, and water…

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Fieldbook Digs In
Our final edition of Fieldbook rounds out 2017 with stories from the field.

Cozy up this winter with a fresh copy of our final issue of Fieldbook this year. Learn about important fossil discoveries in the Columbia River Estuary, look at how community groups are embracing the Backyard Habitat Certification Program as a tool for community building, and read about recent conservation successes in Trout Lake and the Long…

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Our Fearless Approach
Executive Director Glenn Lamb shares the many challenges of our Northwest lands and offers an approach to a bold future.

Sometimes my daily journal writing helps me uncover a nagging thought, an uncertainty, or a threat. I don’t like to dwell in fear, but recognizing and understanding it can help me move beyond it. These days I have one deep and recurring fear. To fully understand, I want you to journey in your mind to…

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