Trombetta Canyon

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently made public their proposal of a new Natural Area Preserve (NAP) near Northport, WA.  The proposed Trombetta Canyon NAP, located about 2 miles south of Northport and right at SMOS’s backdoor, will protect two ecosystems that are rare in Washington – limestone dominated scrub-shrub and limestone dominated wetlands.  The proposed preserve is a responsible decision for our environment and opens up wonderful opportunities for SMOS.

As a child, growing up at the northern mouth of Trombetta Canyon presented me with many great wilderness experiences.  I have many memories of watching moose and elk meander out of the canyon, of a red-tail hawk attacking a mallard in mid-flight, and watching an injured cougar run into the canyon for safety.  The point of the preserve, however, is not only to protect these animals, but it is to protect the entire ecosystem that they depend on.  I didn’t know this as a child, but the limestone cliffs are rare in Washington and contribute a special type of habitat for plants and animals.  The way that the limestone rock breaks down from rain and other processes creates a type of water and soil chemistry that only certain plants are adapted to.  This, combined with other environmental factors, allows Trombetta Canyon to host rare plant species and other species important for conservation.  The DNR’s decision to protect this unique ecosystem is necessary to conserve the canyon’s natural beauty and rare species.

The preserve will not only protect the environment, but it will also benefit SMOS.  The Natural Area Preserve program sets aside land for conservation, research, and education.  In the past, DNR has monitored over 350 studies and utilized NAPs to serve as outdoor classrooms for K-12 schools and colleges.  The purposes of the NAP program are directly inline with the purposes of SMOS.  Having a large preserve (the canyon itself is approximately 270 acres, the formation includes about 960 acres) adjacent to land already utilized for SMOS functions is a huge potential boon for our outdoor school.


Limestone Cliffs of Trombetta Canyon

The boundary for the Trombetta Canyon Preserve is not set in stone.  DNR is still accepting public comments at this time.  I urge all of you to attend their upcoming meeting (details below) and show your support.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will hold a public hearing to provide information and receive testimony on the proposed boundary of Trombetta Canyon Natural Area Preserve (NAP). The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 22, 2011, in the lunch room at Northport Public Schools, 408 10th Street, Northport, WA.

About Bryan Carlson

Bryan Carlson has written 37 post in this blog.

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