Project profile: Klickitat Canyon Working Forest

September 13, 2013


In Southwest Washington, local partners are teaming up to protect a tremendous natural legacy at the Klickitat Canyon working forest, as well as the local jobs in the woods provided by the 70 year old tree farm.

“With a sensational river canyon, Cascade mountain views and opportunities for people to hike, float, hunt and fish, the Klickitat forest is not only beloved, it is economically important for forestry,” said Glenn Lamb, executive director of Columbia Land Trust. “A conservation easement is an opportunity to protect working forest from development for future generations, and ensure local jobs in the woods.”

A conservation easement through the federal Forest Legacy Program would ensure the economic benefit and natural heritage of the Klickitat Canyon for future generations. The project would protect 5.2 miles of habitat and recreation lands along either side of the beautiful and meandering Klickitat Wild & Scenic River.

The diverse and productive forest, owned and managed by Hancock Timber, is critically important to the local economy as one of only a handful of non-public landowners that can supply local mills.

Conservation easements help keep forests working in regions where populations are rapidly expanding. Working forest easements are a boon for local economies that rely on forest industry jobs and are an effective way to protect our most precious spaces here in the Northwest.

The canyon is home to a rich diversity of wildlife – including Mid-Columbia steelhead, Columbia River bull trout, mule deer, turkey, cougar and elk.

While remote, the property is extremely vulnerable to low-density residential development which would mar the scenic aspects for river users and block mule deer migration patterns. A grant from Forest Legacy Program would ensure the forest remains intact.

But the US House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee recently proposed eliminating the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides funding for Forest Legacy Program. The grants come from offshore oil and gas drilling revenues, not taxpayer dollars.

With your help, the Coalition is working to ensure strong funding for LWCF this year. Donate now to help us protect working forests!

Photo by pfly on flickr