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ACCESS: guided only

Type of Project: Habitat Reserve

Thanks to the Rautio Family of Warrenton, this property will be conserved in perpetuity.

A stabilized historic dune ridge is dominated by a mature Sitka spruce forest that transitions to native shrubland along the edges of the open water at a long dune swale lake, where a healthy population of beavers thrives. This property is a key link in the corridor of conserved lakes and wetlands in the Warrenton community.

Thick native riparian shrubs thrive along the water’s edge, and the forest understory is a mosaic of cascara, Hooker’s willow, salal, and slough sedge. Cascara grows in particular abundance here, with some trees supporting a well-developed lichen community. Other native plants found here are Douglas spiraea, crabapple, salmonberry, ninebark, sword fern, licorice fern, and skunk cabbage. The open water system includes a pond lily community and possibly a very rare habitat known as floating sphagnum moss mat.

Large downed wood and snags are scattered throughout the property, providing great habitat for cavity nesting birds. The interior of the property is heavily used by elk, beavers, and waterfowl. Birds seen here include band-tailed pigeons, olive-sided flycatchers, Pacific-slope flycatchers, and rufous hummingbirds, and bald eagles have been known to nest in a tall spruce overlooking the water.

North Coast Land Conservancy is grateful to the Rautio Family of Warrenton for their commitment to ensuring that this property would be conserved in perpetuity.

Spirit Lake Habitat Reserve includes Cottongrass Lake, Beaver Ridge Point, and Spirit Lake House.