Columbia River–The Lower 80

Knappton Cove. Photo by Patricia Sacks
  • Number of Projects:12
  • Acreage: 2177
  • Fact: In the 1880s, there were 39 canneries along the Columbia River; the last major cannery closed in 1980.
  • Experience: The Columbia River is the lifeline of the Northwest, a natural resource that supports our communities, our economies, our wildlife, and our way of life.
  • What We’re Doing: Restoring Columbia River islands, shores, and floodplain to provide healthy, complex habitat for birds, wildlife, and federally threatened runs of Columbia River salmon.
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The Big Picture

The Columbia River is one of the great rivers of America. Its islands, shores, tributaries, and floodplain support the habitat, the wildlife, and land-connected livelihoods that define the Northwest. Columbia Land Trust now cares for some 2,200 of land in and alongside its shores; these are places where we can reconnect the land with the tides, re-grow native trees and plants, and set the stage for nature to regenerate.

Why It Matters

The lower reaches of the river and its many tributaries provide essential habitat for 13 Columbia River salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act, as well as the many Northwest mammals and birds that need well-functioning habitat to thrive. The last 150 years, however, have brought radical changes to our iconic northwestern river: With dams controlling its flow, the river has what “altered hydrologic regime.” Shoreline development, water-quality degradation, invasive species, and floodplain disconnection further affect the Columbia River’s health. One of our marquis projects? In 2012, we acquired 960 acres directly next to the river; one day, this floodplain-turned-cattle operation will become floodplain again—a land transformation that will have big benefits for the health of the river and the wildlife that depends on it.

Featured Story

2016 in Review

Ten ways you made a difference for the nature of the northwest in 2016.

It wasn’t always easy (meaningful conservation rarely is), but with your support, we were able to protect and restore important places throughout the Columbia River region while building strong relationships along the way. From the remote forests of Klickitat Canyon to backyard habitats in urban neighborhoods, take a look back at some of our greatest accomplishments…

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Updates from the Field
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Hail to the Underdog
We’re giving Columbia River chum salmon—aka dog salmon—a fighting chance.

Editor’s note: This article originally ran in our Fall 2014 issue of Fieldbook. We decided to reshare it after members of our staff recently observed chum salmon spawning at our property near the I-205 bridge.  Chum get a bum rap. Read any story about Oncorhynchus keta, and writers tend to note their troubles: They’re nicknamed…

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Oregon Walk the Land Day
On Saturday, June 24th, land trusts across Oregon want you to get outside and learn about the collective conservation efforts across the state.

  Want to see the benefits of local conservation firsthand? Columbia Land Trust invites you to take a leisurely, self-guided trip to our Twilight Marsh property on Saturday, June 24th for Oregon Walk the Land Day. Located just eight miles east of Astoria in Cathlamet Bay, the marsh offers excellent birdwatching and a magical wetland scene…

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A Very Merry Fieldbook
Deck the halls with our winter edition of Fieldbook.

Why not take a break this holiday season and catch up on Columbia Land Trust’s conservation projects and the people restoring the landscape here in the Northwest. Learn how we’re reviving a world-class ecosystem in the lower Columbia River Estuary. Explore how hunters and conservation leaders work together to protect nature and preserve tradition. Find out…

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