30 years of protecting our land, our water, our future
The Save Nason Ridge Campaign exceeds its goal, raising over $1 million from CDLT members and the Lake Wenatchee community in 5 months.
photo: John Marshall Photography
The Land Trust purchases 40 acres of undeveloped floodplain on the lower Wenatchee River. This property was at risk of becoming a new flood-prone subdivision. The Lower Sleepy Hollow Preserve will provide vital side channels that juvenile salmon use for rearing and refuge. This functioning floodplain also recharges our aquifers and stores and absorbs water during high water. There will also be public access once some clean-up is done and a simple parking lot is built.
Thanks to a generous donation from CDLT members Jim & Judy Jensen, the Land Trust acquires 16.5 acres of high-quality shrub-steppe habitat above Skyline Drive in Wenatchee. This land expands Jacobson Preserve and protects a connection to the northern flank of Saddle Rock Natural Area.
Weyerhaeuser moves forward with its plan to build roads and harvest almost all the trees on the steep slope above Lake Wenatchee. Responding to community concerns, Weyerhaeuser pauses its plans and puts 3,714-acres on Nason Ridge, identified in the Upper Wenatchee Community Lands Plan as a priority for protection, on the market.
Western Rivers Conservancy purchases the property from Weyerhaeuser, becoming the interim owner, and the Land Trust commits to raising $1 million locally to help pay for the acquisition. This begins the Save Nason Ridge Campaign.
Property owners Jabe Blumenthal, Julie Edsforth, and Don Poirier place a conservation easement, held by the Land Trust, on their Hay Canyon Ranch property – permanently protecting these lands from any future development. The property also has some unique qualities that make it particularly resilient to the effects 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.
The 2,000-acre, privately-owned Cashmere Canyons Preserve will be open to the public for hiking once a suitable trailhead is built on land in Nahahum Canyon.
July through October 2017
The Land Trust swaps two parts of its Entiat River properties that were suitable for building for additional high-quality salmon habitat along the river. This connects 120 acres and over 1 mile of riverfront in the Stillwaters section of the Entiat River. Floodplain and side-channel restoration efforts begin with the removal of the unfinished, faltering bridge.
The City of Wenatchee’s new Saddle Rock Trailhead opens with funding help secured by CDLT. The same month, the Foothills Campaign Donor Pavilion at Saddle Rock Natural Area is constructed and dedicated.
The Land Trust receives the generous gift of 21 acres up Number 1 Canyon in Wenatchee from Ed and Bev Baugh. This land provides wildlife habitat, open natural space, and adds to the conserved land in Number 1 and Number 2 Canyons in the Wenatchee Foothills.
The Land Trust purchases 105 acres of the popular Sage Hills trail from the Lester family. This section of trail was the only privately-owned section of the Wenatchee Foothills trail system and was at risk for development. It is now permanently protected for wildlife, recreation, and community enjoyment. Ownership of this property plus 32 acres of the Sage Hills trail was transferred to the City of Wenatchee in Feb. 2017. CDLT still actively plays a role in managing the trail system.
The Land Trust begins restoration on 13 acres of our high-priority salmon habitat property in the Entiat by removing structures, including a large house. The house is moved 1 mile down valley providing a home for a couple. The outbuildings were dismantled and repurposed to provide support for families affected by the Carlton fires of 2014.
Curt Soper is hired as the CDLT's new Executive Director. He replaces Bob Bugert who moves into the part-time position of Partnerships Director.
October 30, 2015
The 30th anniversary of the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust is celebrated at annual meeting and dinner at the Wenatchee Convention Center.
The five-mile Rocky Reach Trail opens on the east side of the Columbia, linking the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail at the Odabashian Bridge to Lincoln Rock State Park.
Public meetings are conducted at Dryden, Leavenworth and Lake Wenatchee to gather input for the Upper Wenatchee Community Lands Plan. Bob Bugert calls it "grass roots community planning at its finest. If we do this well, there will be great economic, environmental and recreational benefits to our community."
CDLT announces the purchase of two significant properties along the Entiat River,133 acres total. Each parcel is high-priority salmon habitat and each adjoins other properties that the CDLT owns. This is a big win for salmon, for the Entiat River and for the heritage of an old family homestead.
City of East Wenatchee purchases three parcels of the surplused land along the east side of the Loop Trail, thus preserving it from potential development. The CDLT continues its efforts regarding the remaining land alongside the trail corridor that is intended for surplusing.
Construction begins on final phase of five-mile Rocky Reach Trail from Lincoln Rock State Park to connection with the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail at the Odabashian Bridge. The land is owned by Washington State Department of Transportation and Chelan County.
CDLT announces it is partnering with The Trust for Public Land, The Nature Conservancy and Chelan County to develop an Upper Wenatchee Community Lands Plan(UWCLP). It will guide future ownership and management of 38,000 acres in three different watersheds: Peshastin/Blewett, Chumstick and Nason Creek.
Wenatchee Foothills Campaign concludes with $8.67 million raised from more than 600 donors — public and private institutions and foundations, businesses, government and private grants and individuals.
Sharon Lunz, the CDLT's Communications & Development director, says, "This is an amazing community. They looked at what they wanted and had a say in what happened. This community has a can-do attitude and a sense of optimism." Rufus Woods writes in The Wenatchee World, "This achievement will one day be looked upon with the same reverence that people remember our predecessors who dared to create public utilities and take the risk of building dams on the Columbia River."
CDLT announces the permanent protection of the 36-acre Lower Castle Rock property. Bob Bugert writes, "This brings us one step closer to surrounding the city we love with natural beauty that everyone can access." CDLT reports it has been accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. As of 2013, only 12 percent of the nation’s 1,700 land trusts are accredited.
CDLT completes acquisition of 15 acres of spring Chinook spawning and rearing area along Nason Creek, combining three previously subdivided but undeveloped parcels, including 2,000 feet of stream bank.
June 25, 2013
Signing ceremony marks the official transfer of ownership of the 50-foot-wide east side Loop Trail corridor from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) to Douglas County and East Wenatchee.
But, the CDLT says, “Much work remains to be done to determine the fate of the land on both sides of this trail corridor—and the shoreline in particular” in keeping with the 2011 Vision Report. The Our Shoreline’s Future committee and the Land Trust continue efforts to work with the appropriate entities to implement the remaining recommendations.
The Hands Across the Foothills event draws about 1,000 participants. Steve Maher writes, "This event clearly signaled the community was passionate about enhancing and preserving its open space."
The Wenatchee Foothills Campaign goes public with Todd Kiesz, Eliot Scull and Rufus Woods sharing chairmanship. The "quiet campaign" of major donors has produced $6.38 million of the $8.145 million goal. CDLT announces that an agreement has been reached with Priest Rapids Coordinating Committee (PRCC) to put on hold construction of any hatchery facilities along the White River. This is the culmination of many public meetings and input from CDLT and community members.
CDLT Executive Director Bob Bugert says the Wenatchee Foothills "create a setting that attracts top talent to the area, and boosts tourism and recreation dollars from visitors who come for everything from mountain biking to nature photography. They make us a fitter community. They are home to shrub-steppe habitat, and are critical for wildlife and clean water. And they serve as an outdoor classroom for school children and adults."
Eliot and Tina Scull donate $1 million to the Wenatchee Foothills Campaign from the estate of Eliot’s mother, Patricia. Their gift repays the debt for the 1,700-acre Horse Lake Reserve and provides money for taking care of the property. CDLT and The Trust for Public Land purchase Jack Corning’s Broadview Heights property that had been preliminarily rezoned for 80 residential lots. John and Mary Ann Corning and John’s Real Estate Corp. sell the property below market value as a donation to the campaign. CDLT’s latest riparian acquisitionis a 53-acre property in Entiat River’s Stillwaters Reach. Overall, the CDLT has protected 5.1 miles of riverfront and 536 acres of habitat in the Stillwaters Reach.
Bart and Sheila Clennon sell to the CDLT 52 acres in Broadview Canyon in the north end of the Foothills where as many as 60 homes could have been built. The Clennons sell the property well below market value as a donation to CDLT.
Thanks to huge support from the community, CDLT completes fundraising for acquisition and stewardship of Saddle Rock, and City of Wenatchee takes ownership of the property, accomplishing 100 year-old community goal of protecting the landmark in perpetuity. This is the start of the Wenatchee Foothills Campaign.
Having reached consensus on a proposal for the land adjacent to the east side trail corridor, the "Our Shoreline’s Future" committee presents its "Vision Report" to Douglas County and East Wenatchee elected officials, local legislators and others.
With the land abutting the 50-foot-wide east side Loop Trail corridor to be declared surplus and sold by the WSDOT, the CDLT forms a committee to influence eventual use of the land. The committee, led by Eliot Scull and Mike Scott, represents agriculture, developers and the conservation community.
It begins weekly meetings and adopts the motto, "Our Shoreline's Future — an Opportunity to Do it Right."
City of Wenatchee approves purchase from the CDLT of the 325-acre Saddle Rock property for a Natural Area Park. This fulfills a dream dating at least to 1909 when Mayor J. A. Gellatley proposed that Saddle Rock become a city park. The sale, with a conservation easement held by the CDLT, is later approved by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. CDLT moves into the new office.
CDLT purchases an historic 1908 downtown building at 18 North Wenatchee Avenue with grant funding, and volunteers help remodel it for use as offices for CDLT and The Trust for Public Land.
Grand opening of viewpoint and trailhead at Horse Lake Reserve, with funding from the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.
The City of East Wenatchee and Douglas County hire Project Groundwork to conduct a community planning process to determine community priorities for the east side loop trail and adjoining lands. "More than a Trail" research reveals strong community support for maintaining the land in public ownership.
CDLT, TPL, Chelan County and the City of Wenatchee launch the Foothills Community Strategy. This 14-month community planning effort to guide conservation, recreation and development of the Wenatchee Foothills isa true community-wide process, involving some 1,600 people, including businesses and diverse organizations.
CDLT acquires 169.5 acres on Mountain Home Ridge above Leavenworth through a joint project with The Trust for Public Land and funded by The Icicle Fund.
CDLT receives bequest of Leavenworth riverfront property and home from former Leavenworth mayor Lorene Young.
CDLT establishes a 30-person "Friends Of Our Community Trail" (FOOT) Committee to work on the Valley Trail project.
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) announces it intends to surplus 400 acres in Douglas County that includes the Apple Capital Loop Trail along the Columbia River.
Following a protracted legal battle to extend the eastside Loop Trail five miles north to Lincoln Rock State Park, The Wenatchee World editorializes, "We should have stopped talking a dozen years ago. The trail will be a supremely logical extension of one of the most successful and valued trail systems in the state, or for that matter, anywhere. It would be built for public use on public land, for the betterment of the entire community." Eventually, the courts would clear the way for the extension, known as Rocky Reach Trail.
Chelan-Douglas Land Trust steps up its efforts to establish the Valley Trail. It could eventually extend more than 20 miles along the valley floor, connecting communities and offering recreation, exercise, and a bicycle-commuting route. Chelan County adds the trail to its Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Plan. The trail would later be added to Leavenworth and Cashmere parks and recreation plans and the Upper Valley Regional Trails Plan.
Gordon Congdon resigns as Executive Director. He is replaced by Bob Bugert.
Executive Director Gordon Congdon reports the CDLT has recently received grants totaling nearly $2 million to acquire land or development rights to protect land along the White River and its floodplain. As a result, 411 acres with over three miles of riverfront are permanently conserved.
CDLT undertakes its largest fundraising effort to date with At the Crossroads–Building an Endowment to Conserve Our Natural Legacy campaign. $1 million matching grant from Icicle Fund inspires generous supporters, resulting in $2.67 million raised for a permanent endowment fund.
CDLT and Wenatchee Sportsmen’s Association announce that options have been acquired to purchase 813-acre Burts Ranch and 720-acre Wallace Ranch (originally Cherry Springs Ranch homesteaded by the Barnhill family)at the north end of the Wenatchee Foothills. CDLT purchases both properties with a loan from the Icicle Fund and a grant from the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service. Together they make up most of what would become the Horse Lake Reserve.
More than 100 people attend public meeting in Cashmere to discuss possibility of developing a "Valley Trail" from Leavenworth to Wenatchee. Chelan-Douglas Land Trust takes a leading role in advancing the proposal.
The CDLT, the City of Wenatchee, the National Park Service’s Rivers and Trailsand Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Wenatchee Trails Coalition and local citizens conduct a three-day Design Charette at Wenatchee Valley College. Participants explore ideas for trailheads to connect western foothills to the city and increase public awareness of the Wenatchee Foothills trails and the foothills’shrub steppe landscape.
The 40-acre Sam Hill Property, a popular climbing destination in the Icicle Canyon, is permanently protected by CDLT, The Trust for Public Land, the Washington Climbers Coalition and the local climbing community led by CDLT members Mark Shipman and Freeman Keller.
Thanks to the generosity of landowners Glenn and Ana Martin and a grant from the Icicle Fund, the CDLT acquires a 57-acre property along the White River to conserve wetland, riparian and floodplain habitat critical for sockeye and Chinook salmon, steelhead and bull trout plus numerous species of migratory birds. Six months later, CDLT reports it has protected a total of 190 acres, including 2.5 miles of riverfront, in the White River flood plain.
CDLT, in partnership with NCW Association of Realtors, The Nature Conservancy, Institute for Rural Innovation and Stewardship, organized "Economy, Community, Environment: Building a Vision", a two-day conference exploring our region's quality of life. The conference packed the convention center for two days, and attendees explored how North Central Washington can continue to grow, while preserving natural, cultural and community resources.
Wenatchee Valley Trails Coalition begins work on a Trails Master Plan for the Wenatchee Foothills.
The first Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest is in May, with The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust among its founders. A Wenatchee Foothills brochure is produced and interpretive signs are posted at the Jacobson Preserve as the first educational efforts about responsible use of the Foothills. The first Public Lands Dialogue is conducted. This is an effort among the major public landowners (U.S. Forest Service, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Washington Department of Natural Resources) and other conservation groups to focus on conservation priorities while simultaneously addressing concerns of the Chelan County commissioners.
CDLT partners with the U.S. Forest Service to restore and enhance wetlands and riparian habitat on the White River, the major feeder of Lake Wenatchee. CDLT helps organize an Agriculture and Environment Tour, bringing together over 45 individuals to focus on ways that the agricultural and environmental communities can work together. 50 volunteers build two miles of hiking and biking trails on the Jacobson Preserve, supported by a grant from the Community Foundation of North Central Washington. Teanaway Ponderosa Preserve Easement (Scott family) in Teanaway River Valley is completed, permanently protecting 40 acres of wooded hillside. 560-acres surrounding the headwaters of McCartney Creek in Moses Coulee are protected with the Camel Spring (Musland family) Conservation Easement. Foothills Advisory Committee is formed, later to be renamed the Wenatchee Valley Trails Coalition.
With two grants from the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board totaling $1.6 million, CDLT purchases over 420 acres of prime fish and wildlife habitat along the Stillwaters stretch of the Entiat River.
The CDLT spearheads “Save the Sage” fundraising effort to buy a 32-acre property in the Sage Hills area of the Wenatchee Foothills. A conservation easement protecting 280 acres of Warm Springs Canyon (Nelson family) near Monitor is completed.
Former Wenatchee physician John Jacobson and his wife Karen donate 35 acres to CDLT on the back side of Saddle Rockalong Skyline Drive, creating the Jacobson Preserve. CDLT Executive Director Gordon Congdon Jr. calls it “an important first step in our goal of protecting scenic views and public access in the foothills west of Wenatchee.”
Lake Wenatchee residents seek help from CDLT to protect Nason Ridge from a proposed harvest by Longview Fibre. CDLT helped mediate a compromise and Longview Fibre substantially modified their harvest to address the local concerns.
Directors of the all-volunteer CDLT, which has 40 supporting members, decide to beef up the organization’s effectiveness and profile by raising money to hire staff and open an office. Generous donations from Harriet Bullitt and her Leavenworth-based Icicle Fund are largely responsible for the hiring in October of Gordon Congdon Jr. as Executive Director. The first CDLT office opens at 15 S. Palouse Street, Wenatchee.
Dedication ceremony marks transfer to the U.S. Forest Service of protected parcels in Phelps Creek Basin adjoining the trail to Spider Meadow. This permanently ensures public access. Years later, Eliot Scull describes the Spider Meadows project as "a watershed event" for the CDLT. "It put us on the state’s radar."
Gordon Congdon Jr. and CDLT founding member Tina Scull are among the organizers of a public forum, Smart Growth-Planning for Healthy Communities. Participants examine the impact growth is having on Chelan and Douglas counties and options available to communities.
First Washington State Apple Blossom Festival 10-Mile Run on the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail.
It comes to public attention that logging and a housing development are being planned for about 330 acres of an old mining claim along the popular trail to the beautiful Spider Meadow at the head of the Chiwawa Valley near Lake Wenatchee. Working closely with The Trust for Public Land, Eliot Scull, Pat Rasmussen and Dick Rieman lead CDLT’s fundraising campaign to purchase the land and ensure continued public access to the trail and the meadow.
The 10-mile Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail is completed and touted as the longest urban loop trail in the state. It is an instant hit with walkers, joggers, bikers and skaters.
Catron County Ordinance: In November 1994, in an outgrowth of the "Sagebrush Rebellion" in several Western states, Chelan County Commissioners vote 2-1 to adopt the Catron County (N.M.) Ordinance. It calls for local governments to have co-equal authority to manage federal land. "The effect of the movement is to curtail government’s ability to protect the environment,”writes CDLT Board member Pat Rasmussen. Chelan County prosecutor Gary Riesen and Washington Attorney General Christine Gregoire say the ordinance is unenforceable under the Washington State Constitution. Eventually, it "just sort of died away," says Eliot Scull.
Apathy and languishing Membership: In the summer of 1993 CDLT President Joan VanDivort writes in newsletter, "In order for us to continue to participate in the sensible progress of our valley, we need your support both in membership dues and volunteer activities." According to one account, "a group of strong women hold the organization together, "including VanDivort, Gloria Kupferman, Lynette McCoy, Theresa Druzak, Patty Whitemarsh, Pat Rasmussen and Kathy Lodato, along with Ed and Jean Meyer, and Larry Tobiska." They write letters and make phone calls asking people to renew their memberships. Kathy Lodato, who was CDLT president in the late '90s, recalls there were few active members.
"We were just keeping it afloat —barely holding it together.”
Spring - Summer 1992
CDLT shirts go on sale. Logo designed by Ruth Alan. Through the spring and summer CDLT leaders spread the word about the organization with booths at various festivals and celebrations.
Peshastin Pinnaclesis dedicated as a state park with Wilfred Woods as emcee. Main speakers are Don Fager of the CDLT and Gov. Mike Lowry. This is CDLT’s first high-profile project, which builds public awareness and support for the organization.
Wenatchee Confluence Park opens, marking the completion of the west side trail. Some 200 bicycle riders participate in Complete the Loop bike ride to build public support for the east side project.
Thanks largely to the leadership and fundraising of Mark Shipman, Don Fager, Ed Meyer and Eliot Scull, the Peshastin Pinnacles project is on track. The CDLT Board begins discussion of protecting the Saddle Rock area of the Wenatchee Foothills.
Despite the Peshastin Pinnacles success and growing support for the Complete the Loop campaign, there are challenging times for the CDLT and the conservation movement in the Wenatchee Valley.
November or December, 1989
WSDOT reveals in a KPQ radio interview that it is dropping the appeal and will sell the land as surplus.Bob Parlette, who vividly recalls hearing that radio interview, attends a meeting of the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust held to discuss the potential of preserving the east side right of way from development. He and others suggest campaigning for a trail on the east side. Parlette and CDLT member Gordon Congdon Sr. are named co-chairs of what would be called the Complete the Loop Coalition.For political reasons, it is kept separate from the CDLT and the Save the Riverfront Committee.
Following weeks of public hearings, the state Shorelines Hearings Board rules a highway may not be built within 200 feet of the Columbia River. The WSDOT appeals and in August Chelan-Douglas County Superior Court Judge Charles Cone upholds the Hearings Board’s ruling. WSDOT appeals to the state Court of Appeals in Spokane.
Fundraising for Peshastin Pinnacles is underway, with Don Fager and Mark Shipman leading CDLT’s effort to ensure preservation and permanent public access.
WDOT announces it will proceed with planning an east side highway along the river.
Articles of Incorporation are filed with the Washington Secretary of State describing CDLT as “exclusively for charitable, educational and scientific purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.”. That same month the CDLT Board decides it wants to help protect Saddle Rock in the Wenatchee Foothills and Peshastin Pinnacles, 14 miles west of Wenatchee on U.S. Highway 2.
Late fall 1984 or early 1985
Craig Lee of The Trust for Public Land in Seattle and several conservation activists from Wenatchee attend a meeting of the Save the Riverfront Committee at the East Wenatchee home of Cliff and Mary Bates. Lee describes what a land trust can do, what a conservation easement is, etc. . . . In a subsequent meeting, about a dozen Wenatchee-area residents meet at Mark and Rosemary Shipman’s house and move ahead with plans to form the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust with Mark Shipman as the first president. In addition to the Shipmans, participants include Eliot and Tina Scull, Joan VanDivort, Don and Thea Fager, Chuck Largent, Larry Riegert, Edgar Meyer and Gene Fairchild.
Twenty-five years later, CDLT Executive Director Bob Bugert would write: “Through sheer tenacity, willingness to stand up against conventional wisdom and a fair amount of pluck, they pulled it off. . . They created an organization that focused on voluntary agreements to set aside properties to benefit both the public and the individual.