Mazama Meadows Conservation Bank Preserve

Area: 138.93 acres

Location: Thurston County, WA

Date Acquired: July 31, 2015

Acquisition Type: CNLM owns the preserve.  We protect and manage imperiled species and habitats on the preserve in perpetuity.

Key Habitats:

Puget Sound Upland Prairie and Savannah

Species of Special Interest to CNLM:  Yelm pocket gopher (Thomomys mazama yelmensis)

Introduction

Mazama Meadows was acquired by CNLM in 2015 in service of its mission to protect and manage rare and endangered species in situ—here, the threatened Mazama pocket gopher (Yelm subspecies).  The intent upon acquisition was for the preserve to become a conservation bank for Thurston County, to compensate for unavoidable impacts to covered species and covered habitat.  This provided a means of mitigating impacts for important developments in the County while providing a funding mechanism to support management of the Preserve.

Conservation Significance

The Preserve is located on historic Violet Prairie, a larger prairie once spanning both sides of Scatter Creek, and was part of the larger Grand Mound prairie complex.  The Preserve is in close proximity to a number of other protected areas of prairie habitat.  The property includes 138.93 acres of covered habitat for the state- and federal-threatened Yelm pocket gopher (Thomomys mazama yelmensis), a subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher.

Our Work

Since acquisition, management has focused on control of Scotch broom by mowing and prescribed fire, as well as monitoring for Mazama pocket gopher. Mouse-eared hawkweed (Pilosella officinarum), a noxious weed, is controlled with herbicide in an effort to eradicate it from the property.  As financial resources become available through sale of credits (once the bank is open) and/or other means, a more aggressive restoration effort will commence as well as building an endowment to manage appropriate site conditions for the benefit of the Mazama pocket gopher.  Restoration and management activities have been, and will continue to be, consistent with not only the needs of the pocket gopher, but other native prairie species—allowing a broadening of Preserve management goals in the future.

The establishment of the Preserve supports the Thurston County Critical Areas Ordinance to protect important wildlife habitat areas including prairie habitat. The documents to support the establishment of the Conservation Bank are near completion and under review by the USFWS. For information on the status of Bank opening and potential credit sales, please contact: Deborah L. Rogers, drogers@cnlm.org.

Public Access

Due to the vulnerability of the species and habitats that exist on this Preserve, it is not open to the public.

Contact

For more information on Tumwater West Preserve or Center for Natural Lands Management please contact Sanders Freed, Pacific Northwest Preserve/Restoration Manager at sfreed@cnlm.org or 760.731.7790 extension 304.