Land protection successes are making a difference for the PCT

The PCT at Stevens Pass, Washington.

Stevens Pass

We are happy to announce that the Pacific Crest Trail Association recently sold 402 acres at Stevens Pass, Washington — a gateway to some of the most spectacular wilderness in the North Cascades — to the U.S. Forest Service.

The property was set to be developed with vacation homes before the PCTA purchased it. The PCT passing through here could have been closed forever, with no alternative location readily available. But thanks to your support and a $1.2 million loan from The Conservation Fund, the PCTA was able to step in and purchase this property at the end of 2017.

This permanently protected property remains open for public access and will be managed as part of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Landers Meadow, California.

Landers Meadow and Donomore Meadows

Early in 2018, the PCTA sold the 245-acre Landers Meadow property to the Forest Service, which we purchased with your support in 2016. Home sites were also planned here, but now the land is part of the Sequoia National Forest in the southern Sierra. The property’s lush meadow rimmed by sagebrush will remain undeveloped, permanently protecting views of the PCT and habitat for nearly 80 bird species, bear, mountain lion and mule deer.

Shortly after the Landers Meadow sale, we sold the 160-acre Donomore Meadows property to the Forest Service for inclusion in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. Just south of the Oregon-California border, the Donomore Meadows property protects PCT views, habitat for great grey and northern spotted owls and the headwaters of Donomore Creek — an important drinking water source along the trail. 

Donomore Meadows, California.

The Nature Conservancy secures PCT land in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Protecting a 2,650-mile-long trail is a big job and the trail experience would not be what it is without the work of many partners striving with us to meet the goal of permanently protecting the PCT.

Last month, as we celebrated the Stevens Pass closing, we also celebrated the protection of an additional 1,280 acres along the PCT in Washington. Our partners at The Nature Conservancy sold two parcels to the Forest Service for inclusion in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

In addition to protecting views along the PCT, these properties provide additional protection to tributaries to the Little Naches River, which are major spawning grounds for Middle Columbia River steelhead trout, as well as habitat for endangered gray wolves and threatened Canada lynx, northern spotted owls and Marbled Murrelets.

If you are interested in learning more about the PCTA’s land protection efforts in 2017, please read our 2017 Land Protection Accomplishments report.

And again, thank you for all your support on these and other important projects.

Author: Megan Wargo

Megan Wargo is PCTA’s Director of Land Protection. She oversees a program dedicated to protecting the landscape and trail miles that are still held by private landowners. Megan brings more than a dozen years of experience leading teams and managing landscape-scale conservation projects.