Take a tour of Whatcom County’s Skookum Creek
In February, the nonprofit Whatcom Land Trust announced its deal to buy 1,400 acres of riparian forest, land that’s adjacent to a river or other type of flowing water, and uplands for $4 million.
“We had a closing deadline with the seller, so we used internal funding to close that deal. Murdock (Trust) funds allowed us to replace that funding, which was needed for stewardship and restoration,” Whatcom Land Trust Executive Director Rich Bowers told The Bellingham Herald.
The purchase includes 2.3 miles of Skookum Creek, which is the largest tributary of the South Fork of the Nooksack River.
The South Fork is an important habitat for all five species of Pacific salmon, according to the land trust.
The land trust said it was one of the largest conservation projects in its 35-year history, and one that came with a lot of support from the community.
Bowers said he was inspired by that support.
“After grants, of which Murdock was the largest, all of the funding for this purchase came from the sale of a land trust trade property and private donations, mostly from local community members,” he explained. “Again after the land sale and grants, the average gift was roughly $1,000. That is a lot of individual support for a $4 million campaign.”