The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust (CDLT) and the City of Wenatchee have completed a partnership project that expands the Saddle Rock Natural Area and establishes a legal route between Jacobson Preserve and Saddle Rock. The Land Trust has been working for over twelve years to acquire property from the Neel and Volkmann families that would provide legal access between these two natural areas. The property adds 430 acres to the Saddle Rock Natural Area and represents the City’s largest acreage addition to the Wenatchee Foothills trail system—more than doubling the size of the Saddle Rock Natural Area.
“For many years, people have used an unofficial trail connecting Jacobson Preserve and Saddle Rock that crossed private property, so was always at risk of being lost,” said Mickey Fleming, Lands Program Manager for the Land Trust. “The property could have been developed into many 20-acre minimum lots accessed by those twisting, permanently scarring roads that are unregulated by Chelan County. We are thrilled that the City now owns this important piece of an iconic recreation area.”
The 430-acre addition borders the entire western edge of the Saddle Rock property and also connects to U.S. Forest Service land, protecting an important wildlife corridor.
“It’s been a really fascinating process over the last 20 years or so, to see what can be accomplished through partnering with the Land Trust and others in the state to be able to control the Foothills of our great valley—it’s been remarkable,” said City of Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz. “It’s been a great partnership and here’s another prime example of that.”
The City of Wenatchee purchased the property through a Local Parks grant from the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program (WWRP). The Land Trust provided the match for the grant with a land donation of 16.5 acres of the Jacobson Preserve and a cash contribution provided by generous CDLT donors.
The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust is a local non-profit working to conserve our land, our water, and our access to natural areas. The Land Trust has a 37-year record of working collaboratively with property owners and communities to identify and protect the region’s most important natural landscapes forever. For more information: www.cdlandtrust.com