News & Events

A Legacy on the Duckabush

Author: Jefferson Land Trust | 10/01/15

Duckabush River

The newly preserved land is 22 acres of predominantly forested floodplain along the Duckabush River.

Thank you to all the supporters who make it possible to preserve places like this: June brought the successful protection of 22 additional acres of forested floodplain on the Duckabush River! This land connects to 180 acres we have already preserved for a total of over 200 acres of rich wildlife habitat in this important conservation corridor. The conservation easement ensures the property, composed primarily of forested floodplain, will not be developed and will be managed to maintain and improve the quality of the habitat it provides for salmon and other wildlife.

Funding for the conservation easement was provided from Jefferson County Conservation Futures, and from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board via a grant awarded to project partner Jefferson County. The acreage protected as wildlife habitat is also adjacent to 2,537 acres protected by project partners as working timberland through funding unlocked by the Land Trust’s purchase of a mile of Duckabush riverfront via a grant from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board last December.

The Duckabush is a regional conservation priority, as it supports a great diversity of native wildlife. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has identified the area as critical palustrine habitat with summer chum spawning, chinook spawning, cutthroat, coho spawning, pink salmon spawning, steelhead spawning, harlequin duck breeding, and spotted owl occurring within the township. Wildlife track and sign presence observed on the property include black bear, Roosevelt elk, beaver, bobcat and river otter.

Sarah Spaeth, Jefferson Land Trust’s Director of Conservation and Strategic Partnerships, said: “The owners of this beautiful property, Margo and Paul Gregory, have been caring for it for over 40 years. They chose to establish this conservation easement to ensure their stewardship ethic is carried on by future landowners – so that the forest continues to grow and provide the best habitat values it can over time, the river continues to flow freely, and wildlife has a place to thrive.”

“The Land Trust has an obligation to permanently uphold the protections of our conservation easements, which requires setting aside stewardship funding for all the lands we protect. The Gregory’s friends, family and community are generously providing this stewardship funding by designating stewardship donations to the Land Trust in memory of their son Nathan, who loved this place. These gifts will guarantee our promise of “protection forever,” and ensure that a little of Nathan’s spirit will live on along the banks of this wild river,” Sarah said.