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Sawmill Creek protected

Jan 22, 2013

The next win in a process begun years ago by our alliance, The Cascades Conservation Partnership: Forterra has protected 344 acres of Sawmill Creek's towering old growth, wildlife habitat, and watershed.

Sawmill Creek protected

Hikers and big, fire-scarred Doug fir in section 6, protected at Sawmill. Photo: David Atcheson

In the next win in a process begun years ago by our alliance, The Cascades Conservation Partnership, Forterra has protected 344 acres of Sawmill Creek's towering old growth, wildlife habitat, and watershed.

Sawmill Creek's forests in the Green River watershed link wildlife habitat between the Cedar River watershed to protected lands near Mount Rainier.

Sawmill Creek is home to coho, chinook, cutthroat, and steelhead and a key tributary in the Green River watershed, Tacoma’s water supply. The area links wildlife habitat between the Cedar River watershed to the north and protected lands near Mount Rainier to the south. Sawmill Creek also connects to the Kelly Buttes Special Management Area, protected by Congress as roadless forest and recently reaffirmed protection by a court ruling upholding the Roadless Rule.

The parcel was purchased from Plum Creek Timber and transferred to Tacoma Public Utilities for stewardship using a grant from the US Department of Fish and Wildlife and help from the state Department of Natural Resources.

Nearly ten years ago, 302 acres of Sawmill Creek was first protected thanks to The Cascades Conservation Partnership (individual donors contributed $1.65 million to the purchase), Tacoma Public Utilities, and Forterra - then called the Cascade Land Conservancy. The Partnership ended in 2004, but retained options on other forest upstream. The Forterra purchase protects much of the remaining streamside parcel.

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