Whatcom Land Trust received a $45,000 grant from The Conservation Alliance to help fund the permanent protection of an additional 1,000 acres in the Skookum Creek Wildlife Corridor.
The Conservation Alliance, a member organization of environmental-minded business including local members such as American Alpine Institute, NuuMuu, REI, Runner Girl Races and Superfeet, was also a major contributor in the 2019 acquisition of Lower Skookum, which included 1,200 acres of forest, uplands, wetlands and marshes in the Skookum Creek Watershed, providing a critical cold-water source for the South Fork Nooksack River.
This grant from the Conservation Alliance will help the Land Trust to permanently protect 1,000 acres of maturing riparian forest and uplands and over 2 miles of upper Skookum Creek, improving biodiversity, watershed health, climate resilience, landscape connectivity, and recreation in the Upper South Fork Nooksack River (SFNR) Basin.
“With the generous help of The Conservation Alliance, we can continue to build on our successes in the Skookum Creek Wildlife Corridor and ensure that this area is protected in perpetuity for future generations of people, wildlife, and salmon.” –Gabe Epperson, Whatcom Land Trust’s Executive Director.
Along with the financial support of the Conservation Alliance, the Land Trust is ever grateful for its additional partners in making this project a reality. Working with the current landowner, Weyerhaeuser, to acquire the property, the Land Trust has also partnered with our local Tribes to increase salmon recovery efforts in the SFNR and with the Backcountry Horsemen and other outdoor groups to ensure public access and recreational opportunities in the area.
The Skookum II acquisition will increase the amount of permanently protected land contributing to landscape connectivity, the interdependence of wildlife species and this critical habitat, and the protection of refuge and climate resilience for both wildlife and watershed health. This project will also help connect more than 4,000 contiguous acres of additional Trust-protected and partner-protected lands, including The Nature Conservancy’s Arlecho Creek Old Growth Preserve and Lummi Nation lands. This project will nearly double protections in terms of acreage, maturing forest, connected landscape and associated biodiversity, river miles and watershed.
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