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Woodinville, Washington

62 Acres | December 25, 2000
Gwendolyn O. Walsh
Conservation Easement

The Walsh-Weber Wildlife Sanctuary is a 62-acre protected tract of land northeast of the Seattle metropolitan area in Woodinville, Washington. Woodinville is a small town with a population of less than 10,000 but it is only 15 miles east of Edmonds and its expanding suburbs. The sanctuary is within an area of relatively dense residential development, and substantial financial pressure exists to subdivide and develop all the surrounding properties more densely.  Such pressures are expected to continue and increase as the population in King County increases.

In a gentle valley on both sides of Bear Creek, the property has agricultural land suitable for grazing and mature forest, dominated by old and impressive western red cedar and western hemlock tree stands. Bear Creek and the surrounding wetlands provide year-round water to the native wildlife. There is dense undergrowth through much of the forested portion of the sanctuary, but the larger stands of cedar have a more open aspect. The sanctuary also includes a Native American archaeological site.

The Walsh-Weber Wildlife Sanctuary provides safe haven for a wide variety of species of wildlife, particularly woodland species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Woodpeckers, ducks, river otters, beaver, deer, bobcats, coyotes, raccoons, herons, and other animals all make their homes on the property. Coho salmon spawn in Bear Creek, and there are resident mallards here. This area also provides habitat for Chinook salmon (which are listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act) and various other species of wildlife and provides linkage between the wildlife habitat areas on the neighboring parcels that are protected by the county. Large corporations continue to stake their claims on the region, but this sanctuary land will remain untouched forever.

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.

Heron Close-up

The statuesque heron is a handsome and distinctive bird, with a six-foot wing-span and signature blue-gray feathers.

 

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