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The old-growth temperate rainforests of western Washington are unsung heroes in the fight against climate change, storing vast amounts of carbon that would otherwise warm the planet. Photo: Looking down Silver Creek drainage on one of the Trust's active projects

Adding Wilderness to Washington’s North Cascades

April 23, 2021 –  The Wild Sky and Henry M. Jackson Wilderness areas, located within the fabled North Cascades ecosystem, serve as ideal wildlife habitat for the charismatic gray wolf, Canada lynx, wolverine and even the occasional grizzly bear. And yet, there are a large number of privately owned parcels located within the boundary of these federally designated wilderness areas that threaten their resiliency and leave them vulnerable to mineral extraction, logging and development. Water flows through the Trust's Evergreen Property

Our goal is to systematically acquire all of these inholdings, stitching together the fabric of the Wild Sky, Henry M. Jackson and all designated wilderness areas in the state of Washington until they are free of the threat of private development.

The Trust has 10 land acquisition and transfer projects underway in Washington state and we need your help today to complete these projects.

Generous donors have already committed $200,000 towards our fundraising goal of $400,000. This month, we are launching a North Cascades – Washington Wilderness fundraising campaign to raise the remaining $200,000 needed before our Sept. 1 deadline.

Please join our efforts by visiting our GoFundMe or making a donation directly to The Wilderness Land Trust. If you have specific questions about this work, please don’t hesitate to email or give me a call.

Thank you for your generous support of our work. With your help, 1,175 acres of new wilderness will be added to the Evergreen State, permanently protecting this land from private development, now and for future generations.

 

 

A Final Piece of the Puzzle Falls Into Place

The Ferruginous Hawk is a threatened and endangered species in Washington state

November 13, 2020 – Within The Juniper Dunes Wilderness lives the northern most growth of western juniper that dates back 150 years. This land in southeast Washington state is often battered by strong winds that build upon its impressive 130-foot high sand dunes. It’s also home to the Ferruginous Hawk, a state threatened and endangered species.

Juniper Dunes is the only wilderness area in this state managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This landscape sees about a foot of snow in the winter and summer temperatures that regularly soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite these harsh conditions, plenty of animals thrive in the Juniper Dunes, including mule deer, bobcats, coyotes, badgers, weasels, porcupines, kangaroo rats and rattlesnakes.

Your generous support made it possible for the Trust to purchase a 236-acre property – the last private inholding – in the heart of this more than 7,000-acre wilderness. In doing so, you have helped remove the threat of future development on this harsh, beautiful area.

On behalf of the entire staff and board, thank you for making this possible.

The Trust is now working through the complex process of transferring this property to the BLM and when we’re done, this wild and windy wilderness will be complete.

Stitching Together Washington’s Wilderness

June 12, 2020 – Imagine a tree that took root 300 years ago, is wider than a car at its base

My recent visit to a project site in Washington’s Wild Sky Wilderness

WLT President Brad Borst on a  recent visit to a project site in Washington’s Wild Sky Wilderness

and nearly as tall as the Statue of Liberty. There are few places in the U.S. where trees have the opportunity to grow this big and this old. One such pocket is in Washington state’s North Cascade Mountains, an area known for its rich diversity of plant and animal species, including old growth forests.

Designated wilderness within the North Cascades, including the Glacier Peak Wilderness, protect old growth forest, salmon and steelhead spawning streams, critical forested watersheds and an abundance of wildlife.

The Wilderness Land Trust made its first Washington state land acquisition within the North Cascades in 1998 when we purchased 62 acres in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Since then, we’ve acquired 17 properties totaling 946 acres in Washington state and we currently have seven active projects underway.

Our work in Washington state continues to be a priority, with nearly 3,000 acres of private land remaining within the Wild Sky, Henry M. Jackson, Buckhorn, Glacier Peak and Mount Baker Wilderness areas. These private parcels bring the potential for road and property development, mining and logging.

By systematically acquiring these private lands, we are stitching together the landscape, one project at a time, eventually making these wilderness areas whole. I encourage you to check out our project map to find out more about our work in the Northwest and other parts of the country. And if you have the time, I guarantee a trip to one of Washington’s old growth forests won’t disappoint!