New nature preserve protects high-quality shrub-steppe in Douglas County.
The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust (CDLT) has recently acquired 1,396 acres in northern Douglas County for the purpose of conserving its high quality shrub-steppe and wetland habitats. Spiva Butte Nature Preserve is home to several sensitive species of plants, wildlife and birds. Most notably, the preserve provides critical habitat for one of the last two viable sage-grouse populations remaining in Washington State, and becomes the first Land Trust owned preserve in Douglas County.
The land was purchased from Ferdi Businger, who invested his life savings to buy the land when it was marketed for development, in the hopes of permanently protecting it. Businger later approached CDLT and worked with them to secure permanent protection of the land. “It has been a delight to work with Ferdi and safeguard this special place in Douglas County forever,” said Curt Soper, the Land Trust’s Executive Director. “I knew the day I met Ferdi that this project was going to be successful.”
Because this land is critical habitat for several sensitive species, there is no public access to the preserve at this time. Over the next few years the Land Trust will learn more about the property’s ecology and develop a stewardship plan that addresses opportunities for public visitation that are compatible with its conservation purpose. Until that time, it will only be open for public visitation on sanctioned CDLT field trips or by written permission of the Land Trust.
Funding for the Spiva Butte Nature Preserve acquisition was provided by the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, an interest free loan from the Icicle Fund, and individual donors. The Land Trust also hopes to receive funding through the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.
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. For more information: www.cdlandtrust.org