Columbia Land Trust has been awarded a $5,000 grant from The Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative, a group formed in 2013 by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Land Trust Alliance.
“By providing much needed funding to land trusts, together, we can help build capacity to succeed with projects that create partnerships and preserve birds and habitat on private lands,” said Sara Barker, leader of the Cornell Lab’s Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative, in a press release.
The Cornell Lab received nearly 80 proposals for the grants, which were established to bring attention to strategic conservation for birds, said the press release.
“We are thrilled to be one of four grant recipients across the country of the Land Trust Bird Conservation Initiative, and look forward to working with the local community to advance strategic, collaborative conservation strategies to protect the incredible diversity of birds in the East Cascades,” said Lindsay Cornelius, Columbia Land Trust natural area manager, in an email. “With funding from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Columbia Land Trust is helping coalesce a diverse group of partners throughout the Columbia River Gorge and across the East Cascades in both Oregon and Washington to protect and restore Oregon’s white oak habitats,” she said. “Oregon white oak trees can appear in this region in many forms, from lone, sprawling trees in the middle of a savanna to dense woodlands alive with chattering songbirds like Nashville warblers, Lewis’ woodpeckers and ash-throated flycatchers. “The structural diversity of oak stands in the East Cascades, their resistance to fire, their fruitful acorn crops, the shade they cast, the soils they secure, the cavities they provide for wildlife, the density of the wood — all of these qualities make them invaluable to birds, wildlife and people alike.”
Additionally, Columbia Land Trust has received a $7,500 grant from Pacific Birds, and is applying for funding from Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board to carry out efforts over the next two years, Cornelius said. Grant funds will help prevent further loss or degradation of white oak habitats across federal, state, tribal and private lands, and develop the newly-formed East Cascades Oak Partnership, which is in the process of writing its first strategic action plan.
Partners include non-profits, federal, state and local agencies, soil and water conservation districts, research scientists and general oak enthusiasts, Cornelius said. In addition, “the (East Cascades Oak) Partnership will be reaching out to stakeholders in oak habitats, including ranchers, timber companies, vineyards, recreationists, landowners, developers and others to develop conservation solutions that help maximize conservation outcomes in concert with the people who interact directly with the resource,” she said.
Columbia Land Trust manages several thousand acres of conserved lands across the East Cascades, including the Powerdale Corridor along the Hood River and the Haul Road Corridor on the Klickitat River. “The Land Trust recently assisted the Washington Department of Natural Resources in the creation of a 2,400-acre community forest on the upper Klickitat River and are actively working to conserve another 3,200 acres adjacent for conservation,” she said.
For more about Columbia Land Trust, visit www. columbialandtrust.org.