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Subject:   Partners in Preservation Commemorate Boulder Creek Purchase
For Immediate Release:   
6/11/2008  3:47:00 PM
For More Information Contact:
Scott Thomsen  (206) 386-4233


Seattle City Light Acquires 1,080 Acres of Critical Habitat for Salmon, Endangered Birds

SEATTLE — Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco will be joined June 13 by City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, state Commissioner of Public Lands Doug Sutherland and representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Nature Conservancy and the Puget Sound Partnership to commemorate the utility’s purchase of 1,080 acres of land to protect critical habitat for salmon and endangered birds.

"Preserving this land with a conservation easement will protect spawning grounds for salmon and old growth forest that is habitat for bald eagles, spotted owls and marbled murrelets," Carrasco said. "By working together, this partnership has helped to maintain a beautiful wilderness area that as part of the Skagit River watershed is rightly considered a jewel of the Pacific Northwest."

The Nature Conservancy identified the property as an opportunity for conservation and the Fish and Wildlife Service provided a $742,000 Endangered Species Program grant to the Department of Natural Resources for the acquisition. The state will hold a conservation easement on the property to guarantee the land will be preserved. Seattle City Light contributed about $300,000.

As part of the matching requirements of the grant, the Department of Natural Resources and Seattle City Light also are dedicating about 600 acres of other land they already control to the conservation project.

The land, located along the lower Cascade River about 5 miles east of Marblemount contains more than 200 acres of old-growth forest that provide habitat for marbled murrelets and northern spotted owls. Boulder Creek is a major tributary to the lower Cascade River, which provides important migration, spawning, and rearing habitat for chinook salmon, steelhead, and bull trout, as well as foraging and roosting habitat for bald eagles, northern spotted owl and marbled murrelets.

The acquisition will protect high quality habitat for bull trout and steelhead in Boulder Creek. More importantly, the long-term conservation protection of the Boulder Creek watershed by SCL will improve water quality conditions and reduce sediment loads in the Cascade River, which is one of the most important areas for chinook salmon, steelhead, and bull trout in the Skagit River basin.

Photos and video of the property are available in advance of Friday’s event.



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