Land Trust Buys Key White River Property

Submitted on Wed, 07/10/2019 - 10:54

Newly protected acreage will increase salmon habitat and make it possible to reconnect river oxbow

WENATCHEE — The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust (CDLT) has purchased 40 acres on the lower White River for the conservation of salmon habitat and improved public access.

The White River runs from glacial headwaters to Lake Wenatchee and provides some of the best spawning habitat for sockeye salmon ― one of only two remaining stocks in the Columbia Basin. Endangered spring Chinook, endangered steelhead, and threatened bull trout also use the White River for migration, spawning, and rearing.

The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the US Forest Service now own most of the floodplain and riverfront in the lower five miles of the White River. This 40-acre parcel was one of the very few unprotected properties and its protection is key to the future reconnection of a river oxbow. An oxbow is a former main channel that has become disconnected from the river ― in this case, when a nearby bridge was built many years ago. With this acquisition, CDLT is one step closer to reconnecting the oxbow to provide side-channel fish habitat that is in short supply on the lower White River. CDLT’s White River Preserve now permanently protects 683 acres and over 8.6 miles of riverfront, safeguarding important fish habitat, cool clean water, and providing improved public access to the river.

The Land Trust is grateful to Robert Martinson, who sold the property to CDLT. The primary source of funding for this purchase was provided by the Priest Rapids Coordinating Committee Habitat Subcommittee through Grant PUD’s habitat funds.

Permanent stewardship of the property by the Land Trust is being made possible through the Tina Scull Opportunity Fund, founded by Tina and Eliot Scull as well as contributions from Terry and Suzanne Sorom, and Bill and Mary Griffin.

The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust is a local non-profit working to conserve our land, our water, and our way of life. The Land Trust has a 33-year record of working collaboratively with property owners and communities to identify and protect the region’s most important natural landscapes forever.