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Newport, Washington

25 Acres | December 26, 2007
Jeri F Cross and Ruby F. Neimeyer, donors
Conservation Easement

The Cross-Niemeyer Wildlife Sanctuary in Newport, Washington, was established in 2007 by a conservation easement donated by Jeri Cross and Ruby Niemeyer to the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust. This conservation easement, like all easements accepted by the Wildlife Land Trust, permanently prohibits recreational and commercial hunting and trapping as well as further development and destructive logging practices.

This safe haven for wildlife is 25 acres in the Spokane River drainage area, a significant tributary of the Columbia River. A small creek flows through the property to Trask Pond, which empties into the Little Spokane River. The region is dominated by low mountains, between the Selkirk and Bitterroot Mountains. Historically it appears to be an area of small ranches and farms, although much of the land is now forested, dominated by pines and aspens.

Except for a small area set aside for a summer residence, the Cross-Niemeyer Wildlife Sanctuary itself is entirely forested. The eastern portion is relatively wet with dense undergrowth. The western half is dry pine forest. It has both mature pine and a scattered dense understory of seedlings.

Most of the surrounding properties are under commercial management, including an area that is intensely managed for agricultural grain and silage. Others surrounding properties are forested and most have received heavy cutting. One bordering property is being developed for house lots. But the 14,000-acre Mount Spokane State Park—a haven for wildlife—lies just beyond a neighboring property. And the Cross-Niemeyer Wildlife Sanctuary will forever be saved for the animals, giving them a place free from human-caused harm for generations to come.

Wildlife who inhabit the area include gray fox, white-tailed deer and mule deer. The area in which this sanctuary is located has been identified by The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as potential habitat for moose and Rocky Mountain elk—two species of conservation concern in the region. Migratory waterfowl frequent the habitat’s wetlands.

Although this sanctuary remains privately owned, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust has an obligation to perform periodic inspections to ensure that the wildlife habitat remains in good condition and that the terms of the conservation easements are being met.  These inspections, and the handling of any destruction or violations, cost heavily in professional staff time, consultants, and travel expenses. In addition HSWLT needs a reserve of funds for the substantial legal fees needed if enforcement of violations involves court action.

HSWLT has promised to protect this property as sanctuary forever -- and that promise will be kept.  If you can help with the cost of stewardship for this and the other properties HSWLT protects, please donate here.

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