One night in mid-September, appreciating the absence of wildfire smoke, we had our doors and windows open. And for the first time in our decades living in inner southeast Portland, we heard a western screech owl. Our most common neighborhood birds are crow, robin, junco, goldfinch, house finch, scrub jay, house sparrow, song sparrow, hummingbird,…Read More
The Big Picture
More than 2 million people live in this species-rich area located in the floodplain of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, so caring for the nature that remains is a priority for Columbia Land Trust. Since 2009, our Backyard Habitat Certification Program, co-managed with the Audubon Society, has signed up 3,000 people who are working to re-create some of the native habitat that has been lost to urbanization in their own backyards. We’ve also worked with partners to develop a Regional Conservation Strategy (Think of it as a master plan that helps us prioritize the conservation and care of the plants, animals, and natural areas.) We also hold numerous easements for Willamette Valley landowners—which will ensure their family’s lands will never be subdivided or developed.
Why It Matters
Portland and its surrounds may be an urban landscape in look and feel, but the natural world has a strong foothold. Coho salmon still spawn. Bald eagles and osprey live near (and in) urban areas. Backyards and parks host migrating songbirds. Protecting people’s quality of life by conserving and enhancing habitat is one of Columbia Land Trust’s priorities. The challenge? With the population slated to increase significantly in the coming years, we must be able to provide for people while also addressing the needs of native fish, wildlife, and plants.