Tumwater West

Area: 67.5 acres

Location: Thurston County, WA

Date Acquired: June 22, 2021

Acquisition Type: Center for Natural Lands Management holds a conservation easement to protect imperiled species and habitats that exist on the preserve in perpetuity. The preserve is owned by third party.

Key Habitats: Camas prairie/grasslands

Species of Special Interest to CNLM: Olympia subspecies of Mazama pocket gopher (Thomomys mazama pugetensis)

Introduction

Center for Natural Lands Management holds a conservation easement on the preserve.  Through monitoring and enforcing the terms of that easement, we help to protect the native species and habitats on the preserve in perpetuity.

The Tumwater West Preserve is a 67.5-acre preserve in in the southwest area of the City of Tumwater just west of Interstate 5 in Thurston County, Washington.

Conservation Significance

The Tumwater West Preserve was protected with a conservation easement to protect the Olympia subspecies of Mazama pocket gopher and suitable dry prairie and grassland habitat in Thurston County.  The preserve is adjacent to a Washington Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) tree nursery that is occupied by Olympia pocket gopher and to adjacent sites with possibly suitable habitat to the south.

 

Our Work

The Preserve was created to protect and restore rare prairie habitat.  The Preserve protects a population of the Olympia subspecies of the Mazama pocket gopher (Thomomys mazama pugetensis), a federally-threatened species.  The Preserve is currently dominated by Scotch Broom, rhizomatous grasses, weedy forbs, and trailing blackberry. Restoration activities are underway towards improving native prairie habitat to increase habitat functions for gophers and other prairie species.

The prairie restoration process on the Preserve involves a range of management techniques including preparing the habitat for direct seeding with a combination of targeted and broad-based herbicide and prescribed fire application.  The prepared sites will be direct-seeded with a diversity of native prairie plants, all derived from the CNLM native plant nursery.  In addition, CNLM will monitor the rare and listed species and habitat on-site to help identify threats and population changes.

Public Access

Because of 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.

For volunteer opportunities please contact: Volunteer Coordinator at ssvolunteers@cnlm.org