News & Press

by Rufus Woods, Wenatchee World

When it comes to strengthening community by bringing people together to find common ground, the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust stands out as one of the most influential and effective organizations in North Central Washington.

Virtually everyone in this valley and region loves the natural beauty here. The CDLT has been instrumental in reminding us of that common ground and creating opportunities for people to work together to enhance public access and protect critical lands for generations to come.

LAKE WENATCHEE, Washington—Washington’s newest community forest was brought to life on Thursday, April 14 when Western Rivers Conservancy transferred the 3,714-acre Nason Ridge property on Lake Wenatchee to Chelan County. This historic achievement is the result of a four-year effort by Western Rivers Conservancy (WRC), Chelan-Douglas Land Trust (CDLT), Chelan County and local community members. 

WENATCHEE, WA - Chinook Forest Partners (CFP) and Trust for Public Land (TPL) have entered into an agreement that creates the framework for TPL’s purchase of approximately 35,000 acres in Chelan County over the next seven years. CFP and TPL will work with Chelan County, the greater Wenatchee community, adjacent landowners, federal, state, and tribal agencies, and other partners to develop and execute plans to transition the private working forestland into new ownership to be managed for wildfire risk mitigation, public recreation, wildlife, and other uses.

Dear Friends of the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust,

I have some news to share with you today! After 42 years in the field of land and water conservation, and 6 years as your Executive Director, I am ready to retire. I have shared the news with our Staff and Board of Directors and the Board has begun to prepare for the search for my successor. I have committed to the Board that I will stay until the new executive director is hired and for a reasonable period of time to ensure a smooth transition.

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee yesterday appointed three new members to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, two of whom are from North Central Washington.

John Lehmkuhl, a former U.S. Forest Service research wildlife biologist from Wenatchee, fills the commission’s Eastern Washington post. He’s a board member of the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, with a PhD in forest science, who’s served on the agency’s Wildlife Diversity Advisory Council since 2015.

WENATCHEE, WA – Sage Hills trails system will close for four months starting Wednesday, Dec. 1, to provide winter sustenance and quiet rangeland for mule deer and other wildlife. The area will re-open for outdoor recreation around April 1, 2022.

The first snow has arrived at higher elevations, and mule deer are already moving into their winter refuge in the Wenatchee foothills, said Von Pope, senior wildlife biologist at Chelan PUD. The first mule deer count showed about 20% more deer than normal for this time of year, he said.

Starting today, Nov. 17, there will be crews at Horse Lake Reserve near the lower barn/lower end of Burts Trail doing restoration work. Crews will be planting native seedlings on Wed, Nov 17 then later in the week and possibly into early next week, they will be applying herbicide. 

Burts Trail is still open, but you may want to avoid the area when crews are using ATVs for herbicide spraying. 


WENATCHEE — Ten students in WestSide High School’s 4-H Eco-Stewardship Program ventured out to north foothills land owned by the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust Wednesday afternoon to assist with planting sagebrush seedlings.

The additional plants are needed to replenish food for mule deer and other wildlife after two wildfires in the past 10 years burned all of the sagebrush in the area, said Braden Hourigan, who helped coordinate the event for the Land Trust.

Icicle Fund is now accepting applications from eligible non-profit organizations through its Community Grant Program. The deadline is December 10, 2021. 

WENATCHEE — A new grant will help the city of Wenatchee further connect the trail system in the foothills.

City Council accepted a $491,750 grant from the state Recreation Conservation Office Thursday night. The grant will go toward the city’s Foothills Regional Recreation Area Project, which would acquire about 650 acres for non-motorized recreation, education and habitat preservation.

KPQ News Radio:

Horselake Road in Wenatchee, which leads to the popular Horse Lake Reserve trails, is now closed because of extreme hot and dry conditions and a concern over wildfires.

Chelan County commissioners closed the road Tuesday at the request of the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, and crews then closed the gate at the lower portion of Horselake Road.

It will be re-opened when commissioners and the county fire marshal decide conditions are safe.

Hikers and bikers can get to Horse Lake Reserve through the Sage Hills trailhead on Sage Hills Drive.

WENATCHEE — Washington Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz stood at the foot of the burn scar left by the Red Apple Fire on Tuesday, and announced the emergency closure of wild areas she supervises in eastern Washington.

Effective Friday, lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources are closed to recreation and public access, to help prevent similar human-caused wildfires from taking hold. The order includes DNR-managed state lands, conservation areas, community forests and associated roads, trails, campgrounds, recreational sites and recreational facilities.