I received the following press release from Western Rivers Conservancy. Proof of your generous donations to OFF are having an impact!
In Washington's Methow Valley, Western Rivers Conservancy has completed two projects on the Methow and Chewuch rivers that add key pieces to the valley's conservation puzzle. On the Methow, we conveyed the 35 acre Stafford Ranch to a conservation buyer with a restoration-access easement, laying the groundwork for restoring critical salmon and steelhead habitat along the ranch's river frontage. A week later, we conveyed the 328 acre Wagner Ranch on the Chewuch River to the Methow Conservancy, locking in a conservation future for this historic ranch and it's important fish and wildlife habitat.
Located in the heart of the Methow Valley, both properties were at risk of being subdivided and developed, which spurred WRC to purchase the ranches and find solutions that instead prioritized healthy habitat and open space. Wagner Ranch, which spans 1.6 miles of the Chewuch River, the largest tributary to the Methow, is a particularly important property. Over a dozen different salmon restoration opportunities have been identified on the ranch, and it abuts the 14,800 acre Methow Unit of Washington's Methow Wildlife Area, providing important habitat connectivity for wildlife.
The Stafford property spans a short but vital stretch of the Methow River and controls groundwater rights that will allow for future re-watering of dried side-channels and reestablish spawning and rearing habitat for salmon and steelhead.
Both projects deliver important wins for the Methow Valley, with special thanks going to the Methow Conservancy for stepping up to acquire and conserve the Wagner Ranch. The Methow River Valley is a place where recreation and community coexist with fish and wildlife, and WRC is proud of contributing to the balance of this relationship, ensuring more intact open space and healthy habitat for the benefit of all.