Photo: Fishing at Swift Reservoir
looking out from the slopes of Mount St. Helens witness a breathtaking vista
featuring wildlife habitat and working forests that bolster the local economy.
In 2013, faced with unchecked development on this historic wildlife and timberland,
Columbia Land Trust, Skamania County, and Coalition member Pope Resources came
up with a plan.
a WWRP grant, Columbia Land Trust was able to purchase a development rights
easement on 3,000 acres along Pine Creek between Mount St. Helens and the Swift
Reservoir from Pope Resources. After two years of work to negotiate the sale
and secure the land, the project finished this summer. This project guaranteed
that the land continues to be a working forest, securing public access for
hiking and hunting, protecting water quality and fish habitat, preserving
important habitat for the state’s largest elk herd, and maintaining the
stunning surroundings of Mount St. Helens.
The work isn’t done. One project in the Land and Water
Conservation Fund’s (LWCF) 2016 budget is the purchase of a similar easement on
an adjacent forest property, to ensure that we can continue to preserve the
working forest legacy at the foothills of Mount St. Helens. Read more about our
work to save LWCF from expiring at the end of this month.
Photo: A view of the working forest lands preserved.
Photo credits: Cory Barnes (Swift Resevoir) via Flickr and RCO PRISM (Mount St. Helens).