Key Cascade Foothills Parcel Protected (WA)

KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON, 3/15/04 – The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national land conservation organization, has protected 640 acres in east King County that had been subdivided into 20-acres lots for residential development.

The property is located between and will connect two federally approved Habitat Conservation Plan areas. By connecting the two existing HCPs, the 640-acre property will link and provide contiguous habitat protection for 40 different threatened and endangered species.

The Cedar River acquisition marks one of the first successes in the Cascade Foothills Initiative, a collaboration between the Trust for Public Land, Cascade Land Conservancy, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties. The initiative aims to protect 600,000 acres of forested land across the western foothills in the three counties.

“This is a great success for the Cascade Foothills Initiative and a key parcel to link two very large and significant landscapes with Habitat Conservation Plans. I was especially pleased that we could work with BPA in protecting this important parcel of land in the Cascade Foothills,” said TPL Vice President and Regional Director Roger Hoesterey.

The northern 360 acres have been conveyed and added to the City of Seattle’s Watershed as a buffer to the Cedar River Watershed, which supplies drinking water to 1,300,000 people. The southern 280 acres of the property were conveyed to the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) who will convey the parcel to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) later this year. BPA will retain conservation easements on the land that restrict development but allows the DNR to manage the land for timber management.

Lou Driessen, BPA Facility Sitting Project Manager said, “The Trust for Public Land has once again proven their strength in getting conservation projects done. I am pleased that we were able to come together again and protect an important piece of land in our community.”

In 2002, TPL and BPA worked together to protect another project in the Cascade Foothills along the Mountains to Sound Greenway. The 350-acre site at the head of the Raging River water basin had already been segregated into developable 20-acre parcels. In addition to its remarkable scenic value, the land holds tremendous value to wildlife. Its riparian wetlands drain directly into streams that provide habitat for endangered salmon and trout.

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 1.5 million acres of land in 46 states. In Washington, TPL has protected more than 47,000 acres. TPL depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve land for people mission.