December 29, 2014

Mt. St. Helens preserved for foresters, elk and you!

Our partners in Southwest Washington just finished a holiday present for the entire region: permanent protection for forestland on one of the state’s most iconic mountains.

A unique collaboration between private business and the public allowed Columbia Land Trust and Plum Creek Timber to preserve nearly 3,000 acres of forest, ensuring it will continue to support local jobs and be accessible to outdoors enthusiasts.

Nearly $1.3 million in funding for the Pine Creek West conservation easement was provided by the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program (WWRP), which had identified the area west of Pine Creek as a high-priority Riparian Protection project. Funded bi-annually by the legislature, this state grant program preserves working farms, creates and improves local and state parks, and protects wildlife habitat.

“Pine Creek West is a perfect example of WWRP funding working to protect our state’s most beloved places while preserving jobs and public access,” said Coalition Executive Director, Joanna Grist. “Conservation on Pine Creek helps ensure Mount St. Helens remains a haven for wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts alike.”

The creek feeds into the Lewis River, providing clean water to one of only three remaining spawning populations for bull trout in the region.

The creek is one of the most important features within the Mount St. Helens Forest Conservation Area because it provides a home for fish and abundant wildlife including the Mount St. Helens elk herd.

Congratulations to all who made this possible! This is a huge win for people who love this landscape today and for future Washingtonians.

Photos by Tom Vogt and Columbia Land Trust staff.