Friday, March 24th and Saturday, March 25th
Bowman Creek, 20 minutes west of Goldendale, Washington
Calling all squirrel enthusiasts, citizen scientists, and outdoors-folk! You’re invited to join Columbia Land Trust for one or two days of western gray squirrel nest surveys at our Klickitat area Bowman Creek property. Each morning will kick off with an orientation on nest survey protocol, squirrel identification, safety, and site management history. We’ll then spend the day scouting the forest canopy for nests, noting observations, and tagging surveyed trees. All of this will serve to inform future land management decisions that aim to support Bowman Creek’s important western gray squirrel population. Here’s a rare opportunity to spend some time immersed within this unique woodland.

About Bowman Creek:  Bowman Creek is the type of wild place where cougar still roam.  Columbia Land Trust purchased this 337 acre Klickitat County property for conservation purposes in 2009.  Its rugged canyon, open meadows, old oaks, and mature conifers offer prime wildlife habitat.  Among its most unique features, the forest supports one of the largest documented concentrations of western gray squirrel nests in Klickitat County.  The squirrels share the forest with Lewis’s wood peckers, neotropical migratory songbirds, and raptors. Black-tailed deer forage onsite in the winter, while threatened steelhead salmon swim in the cold, clean water that Bowman Creek feeds downstream into Canyon Creek. All this occurs in a space that could’ve been subdivided 67 times into five-acre lots.

Safety Considerations: Participants should feel comfortable using hand tools (we’ll be tagging trees with id tags and spray paint) and traversing open forest terrain. Expect the weather to be quite cold, at least in the mornings. Participants may encounter ticks. There is no cell reception in the area.

Age Considerations: This activity is great for kids who are comfortable in cold weather for an extended period of time. Participants under 12 require adult supervision. Campers under the age of 18 require adult supervision.  Attendees under the age of 18 will be required to have a liability wavier signed by a parent or guardian.

What to Bring:  Wear weather-appropriate clothing, especially warm clothes and waterproof footwear. Note that we’ll be using spray paint to tag trees, and that this paint does not wash out of clothing. Bring a lunch and a water bottle.  Columbia Land Trust will supply tools, supplies, water, and snacks.

Camping: Camping may be an option for those surveyors working both days, but will be weather dependent.  Email Sam if you’re interested in camping.

Timing: Participants can join for one or both days. Please arrive promptly each morning. Participants are welcome to leave anytime.

Transportation: You can let Sam know if you’re interested in leading or joining a carpool.

Registration Required:

For questions or concerns, contact Sam Schongalla, Columbia Land Trust Volunteer Coordinator at or 360-213-1214