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Kettle Range Conservation Group

Kettle Range Conservation Group merged staff and membership with Conservation Northwest in 2004.

Protecting northeast Washington's wild lands since 1976

Quartzite old growth stands today because of the work of KRCG. Photo by Ann MartinThe Kettle Range Conservation Group formed in 1976 to seek wilderness protection for the Kettle River Range. Local pharmacist Dick Slagle of Republic, Washington, was one of those founders.

Kettle Range Conservation Group (KRCG) is a unique grassroots conservation organization with regional influence. From rural northeast Washington they anchored for many years a largely urban-based conservation movement, run as an all-volunteer organization. But it continued to grow, and the group opened its first office with paid staff in Republic in 1994.

To learn more, contact director Tim Coleman.

Melding of the minds

Today, most of Kettle Range Conservation Group’s staff and programs are now part of Conservation Northwest, which maintains an office in Spokane. 

KRCG chose to merge with Conservation Northwest to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Both organizations recognized that each organization shared a common purpose to protect, restore, and preserve ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. It was a marriage of vision.

KRCG maintains an active board of directors who manage a small endowment and direct the Project Scholarship program. Over the years, KRCG has awarded $26,500 in scholarship money to college-bound high school graduates from northeast Washington. And the group continues its work protecting the Kettle and San Poil Rivers and supporting non-motorized recreation in the Okanogan Highlands, including trail maintenance, and construction. It also holds an annual Kettle Range Rendezvous in the beautiful backcountry of the Columbia Highlands.

Years of success

Kettle Range Conservation Group is directly responsible for protecting wild, roadless forests in the Kettle Range and beyond. During its 26-year history, the group challenged hundreds of projects that threatened ancient forests, roadless areas, and endangered species in the upper Columbia River Basin. Together with other colleagues, they protected wilderness and stopped the destruction of more than one half million acres of publicly owned forests.

For example, beginning in 1978, KRCG challenged the Helen Timber Sale in the Thirteenmile Roadless Area of the Colville National Forest. Though that appeal was rejected the logging project was finally stopped by lawsuit. Today, this beautiful low-elevation old-growth forest can still be enjoyed. The blue paint that once marked trees for cutting is slowly fading though still visible from the Thirteenmile Trail.  

In 1995, KRCG helped Canadian forest activists generate more than 700 public comments in support of preserving more than 200,000 acres of wilderness in the Granby Wilderness Park and Mt. Gladstone Wilderness Park in the northern Kettle River Range of British Columbia. Today these parks at our common border preserve wildness for coming generations.

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