OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Ecology, in partnership with the Chehalis River Basin Land Trust was recently awarded $310,000 to
Portland, Ore. - Rare and endangered Willamette Valley wildlife have gained nearly 500 acres of newly protected habitat, including some of the best remaining slices of native wetlands, prairies and oak woodlands, through four recent purchases of land and conservation easements funded by the Bonneville Power Administration.
Sensitive species from the endangered Fender’s blue butterfly to the western meadowlark, Oregon’s state bird, depend on the habitat, which is some of the most imperiled in the Pacific Northwest and faces pressure from development. Less than 2 percent of the Willamette Valley’s native upland prairie remains. Only 5 percent of original prairie and oak woodlands remain.
“We’re taking advantage of a rare and important opportunity to protect critical habitat that will only become more valuable and important to Oregon and its wildlife,” said Russell Hoeflich, Oregon director for The Nature Conservancy, which purchased one parcel and an easement on another with BPA funds.