The Palouse Land Trust grew out of an appreciation for our landscape and the central role it plays in making our communities more vibrant places to live. Working with schools, youth organizations, outdoor activities groups, and committed community members, we are advancing the goal of connecting more people with the land in new, creative, and meaningful ways.
Together, with your support, we are creating a stronger, healthier, more vibrant community through local land conservation.
conserving iconic landscapes
Studies have shown that our high quality of life here on the Palouse is derived from our stunning scenery, access to outdoor recreational opportunities, and our deep connection with the land. There are certain landscapes and landmarks that are cherished by our community, anchor our sense of place, and are a major draw for regional tourism.
In a 2009 study, residents were asked to identify meaningful places on the Palouse. They took into account personal attachment, scenic views, and opportunities for outdoor recreation. When those places were mapped and overlaid with significant ecological systems, five major "meaningful" landforms were identified: Moscow Mountain, Tomer Butte, Paradise Ridge, Kamiak Butte, and Steptoe Butte. While there is some limited public land on Kamiak and Steptoe Buttes, the majority of the land making up these iconic landmarks is privately held.
Many families owning land on these special places understand their significance and want to protect these iconic landmarks for future generations. Support from people like you helps these families permanently conserve land that will provide enduring social, economic, and environmental benefits to our communities.
expanding access to the outdoors
Our connection to the land has the power to heal and foster great things within us, and access to the outdoors has been shown to be critical in maintaining the health of our communities.
Because much of the land on the Palouse is privately owned, we often hear that people don't know where they can go for outdoor recreation. The areas currently open to hiking and biking have seen huge increases in visitation over the past few years. Our Idler's Rest Nature Preserve receives approximately 8,000 visitors per year. The trail network on Moscow Mountain is one of the better trail systems in the northwest and parking areas are often overflowing year-round. From mountain bikers to hikers to horseback riders, we have heard a clear message: there is a need for more public natural areas close to town.
Our conservation work is voluntary in nature, so our public access projects are all a result of a landowner's specific desire to allow public access. (Not all conservation easement projects allow for public access.)
But it's not enough just to open up new spaces - we want to ensure that sites can accommodate people of many abilities, backgrounds, interests, and ages. We work with volunteers, local scouts, schools, and community groups to improve trails and habitat and create a positive experience for people visiting these special places.