In 2012, Western Rivers Conservancy extended a lifeline to endangered bull trout when it purchased a 648-acre property above Nason Creek, a key cold-water tributary of Washington’s Wenatchee River. The acquisition also ensures a buffer zone on the northern boundary of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, improving habitat connectivity for gray wolves and grizzly bears, which are recolonizing surrounding areas. WRC conveyed the project lands to the Okanogan- Wenatchee National Forest for permanent protection.
Because the acquisition removes the threat of logging from a steep, forested mountainside above Nason Creek, it also diminishes the threat of sediment displacement into the stream. This will not only improve spawning habitat for bull trout, but will increase the likelihood of success for restoration projects downstream. Chinook, sockeye and steelhead, all imperiled fish that depend on Nason Creek for survival, will also benefit from this project.
The purchase conserves important forest habitat for rare animals like northern spotted owls, protects a major source of cold water for the Wenatchee and preserves a beautiful view from Highway 2. In the future, it may even offer new trail routes into the sublime outdoor playground of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, which abuts the southern edge of the property.
Critical support for our work on Nason Creek was provided by the Horizons Foundation.