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Fish & Wildlife Habitat: River corridor
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County: Whitman, WA

Year Acquired: 2015

Acreage: 113.6

Public Access: no

Project Partners: 
Palouse Land Trust
Maple K Enterprises, LLC
Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport
City of Pullman
City of Moscow
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Washington Department of Ecology
Whitman Conservation District
Whitman County
US Army Corps of Engineers
Project Summary: 
The Maple K Forest conservation easement permanently protects over 113 acres of floodplain and upland buffer for the South Fork of the Palouse River upstream of Colfax, Washington.  The landowners, Tom and Cheryl Kammerzell, have been managing the site for years as wildlife habitat and were looking for a way to enhance the habitat and protect the river corridor for future generations.  Working with our partners, we've found a way to do just that.  The site will be enhanced with wetland creation and plantings, and has been forever protected with a conservation easement.

Project Goals: 
  • Protect important habitat for fish and wildlife.
  • Protect open space and scenic views.
  • Create additional wetlands and enhance wildlife habitat along the river corridor.
News for this Easement: 1.8 miles of the South Fork of the Palouse River permanently protected

What started off as one couple’s dream — to protect an incredible wildlife corridor for future generations — has now become a reality.  Nearly 2 miles of the South Fork of the Palouse River has now been permanently protected by a conservation easement, forever protecting what wildlife agencies have called "some of the best remaining wildlife habitat in Whitman County.”

This incredible property is home to deer, moose, elk,golden eagle, and many more animals.  It is one of the few stretches of the river where the floodplain is still intact and the river can meander, providing important habitat for fish and storing potentially destructive flood waters.

The landowners, Tom and Cheryl Kammerzell, wanted to make sure this extraordinary place was preserved for future generations.  They were also looking for some help in enhancing the habitat and restoring the forested slopes which had burned in afire in 2006.  This help came in the form of the wetland mitigation needed for the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport runway realignment project.  Since wetlands attract wildlife that can be hazardous for airport operations, it was necessary to find a mitigation site at least two miles away from the airport. The Kammerzell property met this requirement while still being located within the same watershed as the anticipated impacts.  The wetland mitigation project will create new riverine wetlands on the property to further increase flood storage capacity, construct in-stream habitat improvements, and install over 19,000 plantings.  In addition, the Palouse Land Trust now holds a conservation easement on the property, which permanently protects 9,430 linear feet of the South Fork of the Palouse River, and over 113 acres of its floodplain, and upland buffer.