Klickitat & Little White Salmon

A true beauty: the Wild and Scenic Klickitat River. Photo by Doug Gorsline
  • Number of Projects:12
  • Acreage: 5685
  • Fact: Washington’s only native oak, the Oregon white oak, can live more than 400 years and support more than 200 vertebrate species, including the state-threatened western gray squirrel.
  • Experience: Starkly beautiful canyonlands dotted with oaks and pines, basalt cliffs, and talus slopes: Both the Klickitat and the Little White Salmon wind through breathtaking Northwest vistas that support land-connected livelihoods and a cornucopia of wildlife.
  • What We’re Doing: Protecting rare oak woodlands and oak-and-pine forests, as well as working forests and ranches that define the communities here. Restoring Klickitat River floodplain by removing eight miles of road from riverside: a real return to wild.
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The Big Picture

The Klickitat River is spectacular: Make a trip to the river and you’ll see why its lower 10.8 miles were designated as Wild and Scenic. Columbia Land Trust acquired its first land here in 2001; since then, we’ve markedly expanded the amount of land we care for. Our most ambitious restoration project? We’re removing eight miles of an old road from the Klickitat River shore, allowing the river to reclaim its historic floodplain for the first time in 80 years. We also care for land along the Little White Salmon, a 19-mile-long Columbia River tributary to the west, which courses through similar terrain and is a go-to hotspot for whitewater kayakers.

Why It Matters

Both the Klickitat and the Little White Salmon Rivers are critical for native plants and wildlife: The area’s Oregon white oak woodlands and pine-oak forests support more than 200 species, including Lewis’s woodpeckers and the state-threatened western gray squirrel. Millennia-old runs of salmon and steelhead spawn and grow stronger in these rivers.  Our challenge is protecting this paradisaical area from the very real threat of development while finding conservation solutions that allow land-connected livelihoods, such as farming, ranching, and forestry, to continue.

Featured Story

[Tour] Eagles, Salmon, & Tribal Treaty Rights

Our most popular tour is back for 2018!

  Saturday, January 27th ~8:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m. Join us as we travel to the Balfour Park on the lower Klickitat River to view regal convocations of eagles. Bird expert Cathy Flick will share her fascinating bald eagle demonstration and give quick tips on identifying eagles of all species and ages. During the trip, we’ll…

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Updates from the Field
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Saving Oregon’s Oaks
Three different projects throughout the state are part of a coordinated effort to conserve dwindling oak habitat

Last week, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board approved more than $300,000 in funding for three projects to protect and restore Oregon’s dwindling oak woodlands and prairies. [Read the full press release from Pacific Birds Habitat Joint Venture] “Oregon is known for its conifer forests. But oak woodlands and prairies have always been an important feature…

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[Public Notice] Klickitat River Haul Road Reopens
As of Thursday, September 21st, the fire restriction has been lifted and access is open at the twin bridges gate to haul road. The north end will remained closed due to construction for approximately another week.

Fore more details on the Haul Road restoration, read our project updates.   

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Give More (24!) This Thursday
Join us this Thursday, September 21st, as we kick off our Fearless Conservation campaign with a day of giving in Southwest Washington

  At Columbia Land Trust, we believe that the land can bring us together, wildlife can teach us, and water can nurture our spirit. As Northwesterners, we find strength in stepping outside our comfort zones. We summit mountains and hike hillsides, try out new adventures from birdwatching to backyard restoration, and take time to simply stop…

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