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.

Land Trust Tour by Gabriel Olson
Featured Story

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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Updates from the Field
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[Tour] Salmon & Sandy River Restoration
Visit the beautiful Sandy River and learn about salmon restoration with our partners at the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council

Saturday , October 13, 2018 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. $75 Join us for a day along the banks of the dynamic Sandy River. This 56-mile tributary of the Columbia River now runs free of dams and is well loved by recreationists as well as nearby residents. We’ll learn about the Sandy River’s recent restoration…

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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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Set in Stone
Paleontologists fill in gaps in the Northwest’s fossil record on shorelines conserved by Columbia Land Trust.

It was January 1978 and low tide in the Columbia River Estuary. In the distance, the striking green of the Astoria–Megler Bridge, erected almost two decades prior, pierced the dense fog. Twenty-three-year-old amateur paleontologist, Jim Goedert, and wife, Gail, were exploring the tidal flats in Pacific County, Washington, for the first time. They were packing…

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