This month, The Wilderness Land Trust closed on a 12-acre inholding called Jumbo Lode in the Wild Sky Wilderness of Washington. This property is located in the heart of the Silver Creek drainage. It is a steep tangle of underbrush and tall trees. At the base of the property is Silver Creek, a tributary to the North Fork Skykomish River, which provides important habitat for spawning salmon. Jumbo Lode is, admittedly, very hard to get to and would be very hard to develop. Considering just this one property alone, one may wonder why we go through the effort.
The Wilderness Land Trust prioritizes acquisitions through an internal ranking system. Some properties that are larger in acreage, close to an important resource, easier to get to and develop, or include public access rise to the top of our list of priorities. And some are part of a larger effort by the Trust. The Jumbo Lode is an example of the latter.
While the 12-acre property is smaller and far more remote than many, it is an important piece in our quest to fill in the Silver Creek drainage puzzle. The Silver Creek drainage was once cluttered with private parcels from the Washington mining era. One small parcel may not change a landscape but an entire drainage of parcels does. The Wilderness Land Trust is working hard to pick these parcels up, one by one, until the entire drainage is part of the Wild Sky Wilderness and free from the threat of mining and logging. Jumbo Lode is the 18th parcel the Trust has acquired in the Silver Creek drainage. By doing this work, we are making sure that Silver Creek remains a viable and critical part of the Wild Sky Wilderness habitat. Jumbo Lode is our latest success in this effort.
We are grateful that we have supporters who understand this work and allow us to continue it. Thank you for all you do to help us keep the promise of wilderness.