Klickitat & Little White Salmon

A true beauty: the Wild and Scenic Klickitat River. Photo by Doug Gorsline
  • Number of Projects:13
  • Acreage: 8885
  • 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.

Summer Fieldbook 2018
Featured Story

A Fieldbook for Forests

The summer edition of our Fieldbook magazine covers major conservation efforts and includes our 2017 Annual Report.

Our newest edition of Fieldbook celebrates Northwest forestlands, both working and wild, with major conservation success from the West and East Cascades. Learn about the Land Trust’s single-largest conservation site to date in Washington’s Klickitat Canyon in Klickitat Always. Discover how our staff worked with a timber company to protect 20,000 acres of forestland from development near…

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Updates from the Field
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Breaking Down the Borders
Our Forest Conservation Director Cherie Kearney shares how the Land Trust is working to include more culturally and racially diverse perspectives throughout the region.

For ten years we’ve held our vision for the south side of Mount St. Helens—20,000 acres of forest conservation. While at the outset we didn’t know what conservation of such a landscape would look like, what eventually emerged was community conservation. Along the way, we heard wide-ranging opinions from the community, in­dicating that forestry is…

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Klickitat Always
Conserving our single largest site to date in a canyon rich with wildlife and cultural significance.

We talk about Washington’s Klickitat River a lot. That’s because there aren’t many places with intact forests, unfettered rivers charging with salmon and steelhead, and more than 200 species of wildlife in the Northwest that still exist within one watershed. This summer, Columbia Land Trust conserved its single largest, fully-owned site to date—3,200 acres in…

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Traveling Upstream
Executive Director Glenn Lamb checks in on the efforts of the Land Trust's Conservation Agenda, and shares major priorities that lie ahead.

  In 2017 Columbia Land Trust staff prepared a Conservation Agenda for the next 25 years of our work. The two major goals that we zeroed in on: Conserve more land and engage more people. In this effort, we want to ensure nature in the Northwest thrives even as our population grows, and that underrepresented…

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