The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust (CDLT) has acquired a new conservation property in the Wenatchee Foothills which includes the iconic Castle Rock. Frank Peryea and Betsy Beers have transferred 398 acres to the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust increasing the footprint of the Castle Rock Natural Area and the Wenatchee Foothills Trail system.

Land acquired in red.

Frank and Betsy have long been leaders in conservation and outdoor recreation in Wenatchee. Twenty-three years ago, they acquired one of these parcels to ensure that this extraordinary landscape would be protected. Over the course of the last two decades, Frank and Betsy acquired the second parcel and donated a hiking trail easement to CDLT. Frank has been a dedicated steward of the property, using only human power and hand tools to maintain the trails and habitat. CDLT’s purchase of the property was made possible by the generosity of Frank and Betsy, who donated half of its fair market value to the Land Trust. This gift matched a critical habitat grant from the State of Washington’s Wildlife and Recreation Program.

“When we purchased this land 23 years ago, we weren’t sure what our end game was, but we knew we wanted to protect the viewscape and make it available for hiking,” Beers and Peryea said. “When we learned about the Land Trust, we knew we had found its eventual home. We have an emotional connection to this property and knowing it will be forever protected and stewarded by the Land Trust is exactly what we wanted for this very special place.”

Castle Rock, a volcanic rhyolite formation created some 44 million years ago by the cooling of magma, is an iconic feature of the Wenatchee skyline. The people of Wenatchee protected the first 36 acres of the Castle Rock Natural Area during the CDLT Foothills Capital Campaign a decade ago through a partnership between the City of Wenatchee and CDLT. The land is owned by the city but managed by the Land Trust for public access and wildlife habitat. The new property gains substantial elevation from 1,200 to 2,500 feet and joins Forest Service lands at its western boundary. With slopes that face every cardinal direction, the property hosts many animals and native plants, and is critical habitat for wintering mule deer.

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 38-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.org

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