Upper Wenatchee Community Lands Plan

It is no secret that the Upper Wenatchee River Basin – with its outdoor recreation, scenic rivers, healthy forests, and spectacular landscapes – is a great place to work, play and live.

And right now, a recent change in ownership of 38,000 acres means that our community has a unique opportunity to ensure that our natural resources remain healthy for generations to come.

The Upper Wenatchee Community Lands Plan Final Report is now available!  

Photo Credit: Ken Longley

The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust is pleased to announce a major visioning project for the Upper Wenatchee River community.

A Shared Vision for Lands in the Upper Wenatchee River Basin

The Land Trust is pleased to announce the Upper Wenatchee Community Lands Plan, a major visioning project for the Upper Wenatchee River community.

The catalyst for this effort is the potential transition of about 38,000 acres of forested land recently sold by Longview Fibre to Weyerhaeuser. Much of the Weyerhaeuser land is adjacent to U.S. Forest Service lands and may be for sale again in the not too distant future. Over the coming months we will work with The Trust for Public Land, The Nature Conservancy, and Chelan County to gather input from our community to develop a shared vision to guide decisions about conservation, recreation and development lands. This effort is modeled after two similar highly successful landscape-level plans – the Wenatchee Foothills Community Strategy and the Stemilt-Squilchuck Community Vision.

The way that this forested checkerboard is managed will affect many public priorities, including:

  • an economy supported by local jobs and businesses,
  • vibrant recreation opportunities,
  • thriving populations of fish and wildlife,
  • sustainable timber management,
  • and reduced threat of catastrophic wildfire.

We want to take a proactive approach to collecting the community’s values for these lands and creating a vision that will guide future land uses within the watershed.

The Upper Wenatchee Valley attracts new residents each year due to its beauty, thriving fish and wildlife, and recreational and economic opportunities.

We want to ensure this place will remain healthy and vibrant – both for our future and for future generations.

We will work together with our community to find the best way to manage lands in the upper valley.

 

Working Together

The vision articulated in the Community Lands Plan can guide future investments by public and private property owners and potentially lead to land management that will benefit local communities. Through the planning process the partners aim to answer questions such as:

  • What are the community values present on the landscape? What are the major threats to these values? What are the overarching short and long-term goals of the community for the landscape?
  • How can private and public partners and community members work together to generate the funding, political will, and community support needed to make the community vision a reality?
  • What are the key steps to achieve the community vision? Who are the key players? What is the appropriate timeline?

This effort will focus on working lands (timber and orchards), important water resource lands, exciting recreation lands, and other lands that feature critical community values as identified through the process.

 

We Want Your Input!

The lands are clustered in three areas: Chumstick Creek, Peshastin & Mission Creeks, and Nason & Coulter Creeks.

Earlier this year, we held a major public meeting in each of the areas, as well as a public survey. We had an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response - thank you to all who attended! 

Values such as wildlife, recreation, water resources, working lands, fire hazard, and development potential will be mapped for each area.

In the future, we will meet with various groups about the lands that mean the most to them. If your group would like to host an Upper Wenatchee Community Lands Plan meeting, please get in touch with us at 509-667-9708.

Members of a diverse Steering Committee will provide input at several points in the process.

In the end, we will have a vision and an implementation plan to make it happen.

 

 

 

Check back here and on our Events page for updates, and watch for dates and documents on the Chelan County Natural Resources’ webpage