Chai-yahk-wh Preserve

Aerial View of Fite Property

This view of Chai-yahk-wh Preserve showcases the rare Marrowstone Island mature forest in the foreground. The open space in the background is Washington State University’s 26-acre Twin Vista Ranch, which neighbors the property to the south and is protected by a Jefferson Land Trust conservation easement donated by Lisa Thayer Painter.

UPDATE: Chai-yahk-wh Preserve is now open to the public! You may access the preserve via the via the entrance on Flagler Road which is located 2 miles past the Welcome to Marrowstone sign on the right hand side, directly across from Griffith Point Road. The preserve is open dawn until dusk for pedestrian traffic.

We please ask that you refrain from parking along East Marrowstone Road to ensure public safety.

Chai-yahk-wh Preserve Trail Map

Click the map to view a full-page version.

Opening Ceremony

On June 26, 2019, Chai-yahk-wh Preserve was opened to the public during a joyful opening ceremony and celebration. Click here to view an photographic recap of the event.

 

Walking along the Greg Lalish Memorial Trail

The winding 3/4 mile trail hugs the southern border of the property and takes you through a lush forest.

Chai-yahk-wh Preserve Benefits

Proposed Preserve Outline

The red outline above provides a rough perimeter of the proposed community preserve.

  • Island wildlife are drawn to the lush mature marine forest and wetlands.
  • More than 400 feet of bluffs nourish the shoreline and marine environment below and offer refuge and a pathway for wildlife to reach the forest.
  • As a protected preserve, the property can be used for light recreation by the community, and continue as an outdoor education site for groups like CedarRoot Folk School.
  • In combination with neighboring properties, this preserve is a part of a habitat and agricultural corridor in central Marrowstone stretching from the shoreline much of the way across the island.
  • The two wetlands on this property collect water that feeds local aquifers important to neighboring homes, farms and forests. (The area is classified as a Susceptible Aquifer Recharge Protection Area and is located in the Coastal and High Risk Saltwater Intrusion Protection Zones.)

Biological Survey Report

During late July and August, a number of Marrowstone Island residents conducted a ground survey of the potential community preserve. They mapped the property, identifying five major habitat types and cataloging more than 100 species of plants and animals. You can see what they learned in their Initial Biological Survey of the property.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can the public begin accessing the preserve?

Chai-yahk-wh Preserve is now open to the public! You may access the preserve via the via the entrance on Flagler Road which is located 2 miles past the Welcome to Marrowstone sign on the right hand side, directly across from Griffith Point Road. The preserve is open dawn until dusk for pedestrian traffic.

We please ask that you refrain from parking along East Marrowstone Road to ensure public safety.

What is a preserve management plan and how is it developed?

Every property owned by Jefferson Land Trust has a management plan that details priority ecological functions or features, a desired future condition, and long-term goals, objectives and short-term actions. Land use history, surrounding land use, priority ecological features, the presence of unique/threatened/sensitive plants or wildlife, threats to desired future conditions, known stewardship needs, and community priorities are considered in the crafting of each plan.

Collecting this information typically involves many parties and may include reviewing public records, gathering stories from previous landowners or neighbors related to land use history, working with relevant expert biologists, hydrologists, geologists, or foresters, working with restoration professionals, trail professionals, and of course Land Trust staff. These plans are reviewed and updated regularly to incorporate new information gathered during regular monitoring visits and management activities, and to adapt management approaches.

Marrowstone Island Preserve Sign

One of the new signs designed for the new preserve on Marrowstone Island.

How did the preserve get it’s name?

We often name preserves in a way that reflects something — often a geographic or ecological feature — about the place. We looked at the features that define the new preserve and it is really the mature forest on a bluff that stands out for us. Meaning “to be in the forest up away from the water,” the S’Klallam word “čáy̕əqʷ” seemed to fit this special place perfectly.

After discovering the word in the Klallam language dictionary, we worked with S’Klallam tribe language experts to develop an English (Anglicized) version of the word that we could use to name the preserve. What they came up with is “Chai-yahk-wh” and they also explained that the final “wh” is a gentle sound like that made when blowing out a candle.

What’s the status of the fundraising campaign? Has enough funding been secured to establish and maintain this preserve?

Thanks to the enthusiastic and generous support of more than 250 community members, the funding goal of $210,000 was achieved on October 4th, 2018.  Together with nearly $800,000 in funding from the Navy REPI program, we secured the resources necessary to purchase this property, develop initial public access infrastructure, and invest in the long-term stewardship of the preserve!

All contributions received in excess of the campaign goal will be dedicated exclusively toward the long term management of this property and its public access amenities. As of October 2018, sufficient resources have been raised to purchase the property, develop public access infrastructure, and meet our long term stewardship funding obligations on the property in accordance with guidelines set forth by the national Land Trust Association.

What is the Navy’s role in this project?

The Navy funding was awarded through the REPI (Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration) program, a land conservation funding source provided through the Department of Defense. As a partner to this program, the Land Trust determines what lands within the REPI agreement area are priorities for protection. The Land Trust will own and manage the property. Navy funding is provided to establish a conservation easement on the property that will permanently remove subdivision and development potential. REPI funding does not grant any affirmative rights to the military for use of this property.

Have questions that haven’t been answered here? Please contact the preserve manager, Carrie Clendaniel, at 360.379.9501 ext 109.

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