Help Conservation Northwest secure the final piece in the Okanogan
Conservation Northwest / Sep 16, 2021 / Cascades to Rockies, Connecting Habitat, Okanogan Working for Wildlife, Protecting Wildlands, Sagelands, Work Updates
The future of this beautiful place and critical habitat corridor depends on you! Your urgent gift could make the difference in our Cascades to Rockies Capital Campaign.
The foreground of that photo, taken by Justin Haug, a WDFW wildlife biologist, is critical sage steppe habitat comprising the historic Figlenski Ranch, in the Tunk Valley of central Okanogan County. Conservation Northwest has an option to purchase this 9,243 acre property for protection, and that option expires at the end of this month!
The whole story is here, and even more detail is available in a case statement here. But the important point is that we have to raise as much as $500,000 right away.
Thanks to many generous donors, with the major contributors listed below, Conservation Northwest has already raised $4.25 million of our $4.75 million goal.
On Tuesday we received word of an amazing $350,000 grant from an anonymous foundation and we anticipate another one of unknown size next week. We’re getting close!
We need the rest by September 27 so we can wire funds into escrow to close the deal, at which time the deed for the property will transfer (along with a protective covenant) directly to the Colville Confederated Tribes.
The McDanel Land Foundation has offered a 1:1 match up to $100,000 for gifts from $5,000 to $25,000. If you donate within that range before the 27th (and before the match fund is entirely spoken for), your gift will be doubled!
You can give online here, noting in the comments that your gift is for the Cascades to Rockies Capital Campaign. If you want to donate stock or other securities, contact Paul Bannick at pbannick [at] conservationnw.org.
Honor Roll of Major Contributors
- Anonymous (2)
- Daryl and Michele Connell
- David and Linda Cornfield
- Ellen Ferguson
- Mycorrhizal Fund
- The Nature Conservancy
$100,000 – $249,999
- Peter Goldman and Martha Kongsgaard
- McDanel Land Foundation
$5,000 – $99,999
- Anonymous (2)
- Brian Arbogast and Valerie Tarico
- Matthew Bannick
- Victoria Bennett
- Eric and Luann Berman
- Jabe Blumenthal and Julie Edsforth
- Bill Booth
- Bill Donnelly
- Larry Engel and Kate Battuello
- Brian Hall and Edie Sonne Hall
- Steve Hansen
- Andy and Freeman Held
- Rik and Janis Littlefield
- Alex Loeb and Ethan McGinnis
- Robert Short and Emer Dooley
- Larry Small
- Steve and Liann Sundquist
- Joseph Joy and Chandana Surlu
- Matt and Elizabeth Uyttendaele
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this property important ecologically? Not only does the Figlenski Ranch contain leks (breeding sites) of sharp-tailed grouse, which Washington considers a species of greatest concern, but this property is the lynchpin to habitat corridors running east to west (linking the Cascades and Rockies for carnivores) and north to south (linking arid grasslands between the Columbia Basin and B.C. Okanagan).
How much will the purchase cost? The property has been appraised at $500/acre, so the total cost is $4,621,500. Additional costs include due diligence, taxes, closing costs, and costs of our effort.
What constraints will the Tribe have in management? The Colville Business Council views land encumbered by easement as an encroachment on their sovereignty. The Council has however accepted language for a protective covenant, drafted for CNW by the region’s top land trust attorneys, that will be permanently attached to the deed. The highest use of this property for the Tribe includes regaining a part of their historic reservation and Okanogan Tribe territory, subsistence hunting, subsistence and medicinal gathering, and the high cultural significance of sharp tailed grouse.
Will the public have access to the property? The Tribe intends to manage this 9,243 acres similar to most of their lands. The nontribal public is welcome to visit for hiking, wildlife viewing, and other temporary and non-consumptive uses so long as they are respectful of that privilege.
Where can I learn more about the tribal history of the area? More information about the history, cultures, and territories of the 12 Tribes of the Colville Confederation can be found here.
For the wild,