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…Read More
The Big Picture
Between March and June on the ridges and hills surrounding The Dalles, you’ll see rolling carpets of color, the natural splendor of more than 60 species of wildflowers, including balsamroot, lupine, and Indian paintbrush that unfurl their petals to the sky. Columbia Land Trust began conserving land here in 2010, after Build-Your-Dream-Home-Here signs started popping up on Mill Creek Ridge. Now we’re building a permanent conservation area for the wildflowers, oak woodlands, and native prairie here.
Why It Matters
Native grasses and wildflower meadows abound, as do rare Oregon white oak-and-pine woodlands, which shelter a wide array of wildlife, including neo-tropical migratory songbirds and species such as Vaux’s swift and Lewis’s woodpecker. Vernal (or seasonal) wetlands in The Dalles area are fragile habitats; each supports a unique community of plants and animals. Mill Creek Ridge is one of our highest priorities, especially because of development threats. Portions of properties are zoned for 10-acre residential lots—and are just a few miles from the population center of The Dalles. Today, we are working to build a protected corridor from the ridge overlooking the Columbia River to the Mount Hood National Forest.