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The Cascades Conservation Partnership

A partnership effort spearheaded by Conservation Northwest and others that from 2000 to 2004 brought nearly 60 square miles of forests, lakes, and river into public ownership, connecting and protecting lands in the I-90 corridor of Washington's Cascades for wildlife habitat, trails, and recreation.

Connecting Alpine Lakes to Mount Rainier

North Fork Taneum: Protected. Photo Charlie Raines
North Fork Taneum: Protected. Photo Charlie Raines

Conservation Northwest has long worked to protect Washington's central Cascades. From 2000-2004, we spearheaded The Cascades Conservation Partnership, an innovative project that raised nearly $16 million in private donations and $68 million in public funds to protect nearly 45,000 acres of forest lands from logging and development. Nearly 17,000 people made it happen.

Lands we protected ranged from the Cooper River north of Cle Elum, to Snoqualmie and Stampede Pass along I-90, to Manastash Ridge southwest of Cle Elum and Sawmill Creek in the Green River watershed.

The Partnership protected 60 square miles of forest, rivers, and trails, from Cle Elum to the Green River watershed.
"We worked to link the north and south Cascades of Washington ecologically, we were also linking past to future....We succeeded because of the diverse contributions of thousands of individuals." - Dave Acheson, director, 2004

The lands are now protected as public lands managed largely by the US Forest Service, enhance a wildlife corridor linking the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area to Mount Rainier National Park. The Partnership's mission in acquiring new public land was always twofold, protecting lands for public recreation and protecting wildlife habitat.

Partnership lands map. Click to embiggen
Partnership lands map. Click to embiggen

Thanks to the support of thousands of people through this innovative and effective partnership, lands on both sides of Interstate 90 now feature old-growth forests, critical wildlife habitat, and well-loved hiking trails.

Another remarkable coalition is building off The Partnership's work to protect a thriving wildlife corridor. Thanks to the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition two new underpasses under I-90 at Gold Creek are constructed and being used by wildlife. The state's first wildlife bridge begins construction in 2015, connecting wildlife north to south across I-90 in Washington's Cascades.

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