POULSBO — Columbia Land Trust has purchased 2,330 acres on the southern flanks of Mount St. Helens from Pope Resources.
The $5.7 million sale conserves approximately nine miles of Pine Creek riparian habitat and adjacent forestlands. Pine Creek is a prime habitat for bull trout, a threatened species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Columbia Land Trust acquired the land with a grant from the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, the federal program that provides funding to states for species and habitat conservation on non-federal lands. The state Department of Natural Resources administered the grant. The sale represents several years of coordinated efforts by Pope Resources, Columbia Land Trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Skamania County to develop an integrated vision for Mount St. Helens forestlands that balances the needs of Pacific Northwest people and communities with wildlife habitat needs.
This parcel, adjacent to Pine Creek, is part of a much larger Mount St. Helens Forest Conservation Project spearheaded by Columbia Land Trust that aims to protect from development 20,000 acres of working forest and critical wildlife habitat around the Swift Reservoir on the Lewis River. The first of four parcels in the Mount St. Helens Forest Conservation Project was conserved in 2010.
“We are pleased to see the second phase of this innovative project move forward, and we are very optimistic about another state grant that will help us conserve an additional 3,074 acres under a conservation easement,” said Jon Rose, president of Olympic Property Group, Pope Resources’ real estate subsidiary.
Pope Resources (www.poperesources.com), a publicly traded limited partnership, and its subsidiaries Olympic Resource Management and Olympic Property Group, own or manage 196,000 acres of timberland and development property in Washington, Oregon, and California. Pope also manages and co-invests in three timberland investment funds, for which it earns management fees.