WENATCHEE — The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, working with generous private landowners, has permanently conserved over 2,000 acres in Hay and Nahahum Canyons near the town of Cashmere, Washington. Jabe Blumenthal, Julie Edsforth, and Don Poirier have placed a conservation easement, held by the Land Trust, on their Hay Canyon Ranch property and will also do so on newly purchased adjoining land in Nahahum Canyon, permanently protecting these lands from any future development. In a rare and generous move, the landowners will also open their property to the public for hiking on over 10 miles of trails once a suitable trailhead can be built. The Land Trust is seeking funding for the trailhead and will manage the trail system. The property, with its stunning wildflower displays and sweeping views, will be known as the Cashmere Canyons Preserve. The property has unique qualities that make it particularly resilient to the effects of climate change.
“The Land Trust is thrilled to be playing a part in securing conservation for such a beautiful and important area, and to eventually invite the public to enjoy the Cashmere Canyons Preserve,” said Land Trust executive director Curt Soper. “When people visit this place, their appreciation for our part of the world will be enriched.” The Land Trust needs to raise the money necessary to design and build an appropriate trailhead with ample parking and amenities before the public can have access to the property, and hopes to do that in the next 1-2 years.
“Since we first stumbled upon this land 28 years ago, our appreciation of its subtle natural beauty has grown with every season. While many people experience its wonders through the paragliding school that operates there, we’ve always dreamed of opening up its rolling trails, flower-covered hills, and abundant wildlife to more people. With the help of the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, we’ve finally been able to connect these lands to a suitable public access point,” said property owner Jabe Blumenthal. “We look forward to sharing this land with the community as well as getting their help to protect it.”
Support for this project included partial funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation granted through The Nature Conservancy to identify and protect Pacific Northwest lands that will provide resiliency in the face of climate change. Its large size, diversity of habitat from shrub-steppe to forest, and the connectivity to public lands will allow plants and wildlife the room to move and re-establish as our climate changes. More details available here on our website.