Chinook Forest Partners, Trust for Public Land Announce Agreement to Enable Community Involvement in Future Ownership and Management of 35,000 Acres near Wenatchee

March 8, 2022
WENATCHEE, Wash.

Chinook Forest Partners (CFP) and Trust for Public Land (TPL) have entered into an agreement that creates the framework for TPL’s purchase of approximately 35,000 acres in Chelan County over the next seven years. CFP and TPL will work with Chelan County, the greater Wenatchee community, adjacent landowners, federal, state, and tribal agencies, and other partners to develop and execute plans to transition the private working forestland into new ownership to be managed for wildfire risk mitigation, public recreation, wildlife, and other uses.

“When we acquired these lands, we understood their significance to the Wenatchee community and the broader regional landscape,” said Kelly Droege, Managing Partner and Chief Sustainability Officer at CFP. “Thanks to our prior experience working with TPL and the work TPL has done to develop the Upper Wenatchee Community Lands Plan, we were able to see how our investment in these private timberlands would allow us to pursue the best outcome for our clients, the people of Chelan County, and the Upper Wenatchee ecosystem.”

TPL worked with the Wenatchee community for many years to develop a vision for these lands that would ensure greater public access, better management for wildfire risk, and the opportunity for sustainable, community-oriented approaches to productive forestland management. Despite longstanding commitment by many to turn that vision into reality, it was not until CFP acquired the property that a clear path forward to implementing it became viable.

“The agreement between CFP and TPL creates the opportunity for the larger Wenatchee community to influence the future ownership and management of these lands in line with the vision established by the Upper Wenatchee Community Lands Plan,” said Ann Welz, TPL’s Wenatchee-based Senior Project Manager. “We could not be more ready to go to work with CFP and our Wenatchee-community partners on realizing the community’s vision for these working lands and ensure other uses of those lands critical to their environmental and economic needs are part of their future.”

Moving forward, a multi-stakeholder planning process will be spearheaded by TPL with support from CFP and involving community partners that participated in the Upper Wenatchee Community Lands Plan, as well as those new to the opportunity.

About Trust for Public Land

Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 3 million acres of public land, created more than 5,000 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $84 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected more than 9 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.

About Chinook Forest Partners

Chinook Forest Partners provides the full suite of forestland and natural capital investment management services individually tailored to the needs of large-scale investors. CFP manages working forestland through our subsidiary Chinook Forest Management. The company currently manages working forestland in the Pacific Northwest. CFP’s core values are sustainability, transparency, and long-term focus. https://chinookfp.com