Conserving land along our waterways protects important habitat and helps keep our rivers healthy, clean, and more resilient to drought. Riparian Protection projects conserve and restore fresh and saltwater habitat while protecting fish habitat. In doing so, the grants help provide our families, farms, and fisheries with clean water across the state.
Chelan-Douglas Land Trust (CDLT) acquired 40 acres at RM 2.7-3.2 of the lower Wenatchee River mainstem. This is the largest undeveloped floodplain in the lower Wenatchee and is only 10 minutes from downtown. The property includes 2700 feet of riverfront, the inlets of two major seasonal channels, good riparian cover, and is 95% in the 100 year floodplain. All species in the Wenatchee Basin spend part of their life cycle in the lower mainstem, where development, both highway and railroad have taken up much of the historic floodplain and channel migration zone. This crucial piece is the keystone to future acquisitions with the two other owners of the connected floodplain. CDLT purchased the property from a large developer that had obtained preliminary approval from Chelan County for a 6 lot cluster subdivision located entirely within the floodplain. The threat to this highly functional floodplain was real and imminent, as the project would have added fill to the floodplain, blocking channel migration and preventing floodplain restoration. The project involved several steps to realign boundaries to separate out the existing home, move an historic barn, move another shed encroaching on the entrance road, replant floodplain meadows that had been grazed for decades, and ready the property for public access, The latter included grading and graveling a parking area, installing gates, creating screening of the parking area and security for neighbors to the east and west with plantings and visual screen fencing consisting largely of repurposed materials. The area is intended to provide a site for environmental education and access to 25′ of fishing easements held by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) along the entire frontage, that at present are not accessible except from the river.