Nearly 100 acres gain Columbia Quiet Waters protection
In late November, nearly two years of work by North Coast Land Conservancy staff culminated in acquisition of three very special properties in the community of Warrenton: 66-acre Creep and Crawl Lake, 20-acre Cotton Grass Lake, and 11-acre Ridge Road Swamp. Clatsop County took ownership of these three properties in the early 1900s as the result of tax foreclosures. NCLC now welcomes them as part of its Columbia Quiet Waters green infrastructure initiative. The Creep and Crawl Lake property is adjacent to both Fort Stevens State Park and Camp Kiwanilong and contains portions of Crabapple and Abbot lakes as well as all of Creep and Crawl Lake. NCLC staff members have worked closely with the Camp Kiwanilong staff and board for many years and even wrote the camp’s land management plan.
Campers will continue to have use of trails crossing the Creep and Crawl Lake property to access the beach. NCLC hopes to offer walks or paddle trips at Creep and Crawl Lake as part of our On the Land outings program in 2013; watch the spring newsletter for dates and sign-up information.
The Cotton Grass Lake property consists almost entirely of open water habitat used by migrating waterfowl. It borders NCLC’s Beaver Ridge Point property, helping to enhance habitat connectivity.
Ridge Road Swamp is located just north of the new soccer field in Warrenton and directly across Ridge Road from the Creep and Crawl Lake property. It includes the upper reaches of Swag Lake.
Early in 2011, NCLC staff began working with officials of Clatsop County to identify county-owned properties with high conservation values and to consider how these lands might be protected so that they would continue to benefit to the North Coast community. They were purchased with North American Wetland Conservation Act funds made available to NCLC by the Columbia Land Trust.
NCLC had been preparing to announce this important 97-acre acquisition when our offices burned down. As we settle into new temporary offices, we are happy to finally share this news with you—and to suggest that you stay tuned for more exciting conservation news for the Warrenton area.
All photographs in this post were taken by Alex Pajunas for The Daily Astorian, and used by permission.