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.
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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.

A river scene by Clare Carpenter. TigerFoodPress.com
Featured Story

Picnic in the Gorge

Columbia Land Trust supporters and their families are invited to our annual meeting and picnic celebration on Saturday, July 21st.

  Columbia Land Trust’s members are invited to join us in celebrating the resilience and enduring beauty of the Columbia River Gorge at Columbia Land Trust’s annual membership picnic. We’ll honor your support of Northwest conservation in one of our favorite summertime spots. WHERE Hegewald Center 710 SW Rock Creek Dr. Stevenson, WA 98648 WHEN…

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Updates from the Field
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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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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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