Friends of the Columbia Gorge protected eight different properties totaling 470 acres of land along the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge. The land-preservation campaign is one of the largest to be completed in the Gorge since it was designated as a national scenic area by Congress in 1986. These properties preserve the Gorge’s scenic beauty, protect native forests and savannas and offer opportunities for new hiking trail connections. Properties protected as part of the recently completed Preserve the Wonder campaign include:
- Steigerwald Shores (160 acres) – Adjacent to the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge, this partially-developed property will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand the refuge and undertake the largest salmon habitat restoration project in the Columbia Gorge in modern history.
- Upland Oaks (55 acres) – Located on the hillside above the Steigerwald Refuge, this woodland property will permanently protect white oak habitat for countless migratory birds and threatened species such as the Lewis’ woodpecker and western gray squirrel.
- Cape Horn Vista (58 acres) – This beautiful property near the popular Cape Horn Trail blankets the side of a bluff and offers a magnificent view of the Gorge. The land is currently fenced off from hikers, routing them away from the expansive scenery of the Columbia River.
- Duncan Creek (50 acres) – This 50-acre woodland of Douglas fir near Duncan Creek sits between two large swaths of public land. Purchase of this land protects it from logging and makes a 17-mile trail from Cape Horn to Beacon Rock possible.
- Turtle Haven (64 acres) – This land is truly a haven for turtles, in particular, the western pond turtle. Once plentiful from Canada to Baja, this turtle is now listed as extinct in Canada and is in peril throughout Washington and Oregon. For more than 20 years, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Oregon Zoo have collaborated on restoration efforts with the private landowner to restore the turtle population.
- Coyote Meadow (10 acres) – This small piece of private property is wooded with white oak and is surrounded by the publicly managed lands of Coyote Wall and Catherine Creek, an area renowned for its hiking, mountain biking and wildflower photography. Prior to protection, this property made consistent management of the land for recreational and habitat purposes very difficult.
- Lyle Peak (25 acres) – Situated above Friends’ 550-acre Lyle Cherry Orchard property (near Lyle, WA), this land will provide feeding, resting and breeding habitat for wildlife as well as opportunities for future trail connections with iconic views of the Gorge.