NW Trek Wilderness Park expansion property preserved

Cascade Land Conservancy announced today that it has acquired a key property adjacent to Northwest Trek Wilderness Park.

This acquisition will provide a buffer to the existing park and enable Metro Parks Tacoma to accommodate future activities, such as additional breeding programs for maintaining populations of exhibited wildlife and adding to the pool of knowledge for conservation of wild populations.

 “This acquisition is an important piece of a long-term effort to protect and enhance the valuable asset that we have in Northwest Trek,” said Metro Parks Executive Jack Wilson. “We are fortunate to have a partner like the Conservancy working in Pierce County. We have tried to acquire this property for over a decade, and it took the Conservancy’s participation to make it a reality.”

 Northwest Trek is a 615-acre wildlife park where visitors can watch and photograph the bighorn sheep, trumpeter swan, moose, bison, elk and caribou that live in the park’s 435-acre free-roaming area.

The park’s core area is home to regional wildlife such as bobcat, gray wolves, grizzly and black bear, owls, eagles, and otters.

 “The preservation of this property will add to the quality of life for residents of Pierce County, and for the tri-county region,” said Gene Duvernoy, the Conservancy’s President of Cascade Land Conservancy. “Working in an entrepreneurial spirit with partners like Metro Parks allows us to secure critical lands, like this parcel, that are meaningful to local communities.”

 The 100-acre addition to the park was identified as a high priority in Northwest Trek’s 1987 master plan.

The Parks district has been trying to acquire it for 13 years.

The property features mixed forest and wetlands and had been subdivided into 17 building lots.

Due to an inability to reach an agreement with the landowner, Metro Parks Tacoma requested that Cascade Land Conservancy negotiate, acquire and hold the property until funding can be secured.
The Conservancy paid $1,125,000 for the property.

Protection of the property ensures that the park’s wilderness atmosphere remains undisturbed.

 “We would like to thank Cascade Land Conservancy for its assistance in protecting this beautiful property,” said John Ladenburg, Pierce County Executive. “The addition of these 100 acres of open space will allow the Northwest Trek experience to continue for future generations.”

 Cascade Land Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that preserves natural lands in Pierce, King, Snohomish counties in Washington.

The Conservancy works in partnership with citizens, community groups and public agencies to secure permanent protection of habitat for fish and wildlife, and lands that offer passive outdoor recreation.

Over the past decade, the Conservancy has protected thousands of acres of land, valued at over $50 million, and is a lead partner in the recently-announced transaction to protect the 100,000-acre Evergreen Forest at Snoqualmie.