Dave Skinner Ecological Preserve


December 2016: New prairie preserve established

Something wonderful just happened, and as I sit here writing this, I'm both inspired and humbled by its significance.  Thanks to you, and growing community support, we recently bought the gorgeous prairie land shown in the photo above.

Home to many rare and special plants and animals like the broad-fruit mariposa lily, Palouse goldenweed, Spalding's catchfly, grasshopper sparrow, and more,this new 62-acre ecological preserve protects some of the most endangered habitat in the U.S.

Normally, the Land Trust works with local families to protect special places like this with conservation easements.  In this case, though, the family lived in Oregon and needed to sell the land.

So, we worked over the past few years with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to obtain a modest grant to purchase the land.  But that provided only a portion of the funds needed.

It almost didn't happen

The project might not have happened at all if it wasn't for one of our generous community members.  David Hall is a tremendously humble individual with a passion for the disappearing Palouse Prairie.  When he found out that this beautiful, rolling, prairie land could be preserved, he decided to take action.

Through a gift of appreciated stock, he gave a generous donation to help make this purchase happen.

Now, thanks to David, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and you -- our amazing supporters and those who care so deeply about the conservation of places like this -- this rare and beautiful prairie habitat will be treated with the care it deserves.

And now the real work begins

The paperwork is signed, and now the hard work begins.  We knew going into this that owning this land would mean a lot more work to make sure we're not just preserving the ground, but improving the health of the prairie. There is much to be done to control invasive weeds and preserve the high quality remnants on the site, to prepare the area for reintroduction of rare and threatened plant species, and to restore and expand this fragile ecosystem.

We can't do it without you.  

  • Because of the fragile nature of this landscape, this coming spring and summer access to the preserve will be provided by guided tours as we work to restore various portions of the prairie.  Please let me know if you'd like to sign up for one of these outings.  
  • We'll also be looking for habitat restoration volunteers this spring and summer, so feel free to let me know if that's something you're interested in.
  • And please, give as generously as you can.  Your donations to the Land Trust will make sure that we have the resources needed to make good on our promise of permanent conservation and stewardship of this land.  Thank you for making it possible to conserve this special piece of land - and so many others:  Idler's Rest, family farms and forests throughout the Palouse, rivers and streams for recreation and wildlife migration, and places for people to hike and connect with nature.

You're ensuring that the places we know and love continue to be amazing. We couldn't do this without your support.  

Thank you to Erica Sloniker for the use of her beautiful photos on this page.