Chelan-Douglas Land Trust acquires Reserve with Rio Tinto Support
The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust has acquired over 2,100 acres of land about 7 miles south of Chelan for permanent conservation. This conservation project is made possible thanks to a contribution from Rio Tinto, which has been managing restoration and mitigation efforts at the Holden Mine, 40 miles up Lake Chelan, over the last nine years. The property, named Chelan Coulees Reserve, will be owned by the Land Trust and managed with an emphasis on fire safety, wetland preservation, adaptation to climate change, and habitat for wildlife. It adjoins mostly United States Forest Service property and as such presents a unique opportunity for conservation of connected lands that will never be developed or fragmented into multiple small ownerships.
As the “Backside” of Bear Mountain Ranch, the property was acquired and had been maintained as a private wildlife reserve for the last 50 years by Jerry Scofield up until his death. His widow Mary Pat Scofield, spokesperson for the family, is delighted with CDLT becoming the permanent owner and steward of this land. Mrs Scofield said: “This is a legacy to my husband’s vision for responsible development that values the beauty of the land and the creatures who live there.”
The Holden Mine has been closed since the 1950’s. While it was never owned or operated by Rio Tinto, the company assumed financial responsibility for remediation of the mine when it acquired Alcan. Rio Tinto has completed the majority of the Holden Mine remediation, including construction and operation of a state-of-the-art water treatment plant. The contribution to support the permanent preservation and conservation of land by the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust was made as part of environmental offsets for work on the Holden remediation project.