More than 100 acres added to Quimper Wildlife Corridor

Land moved from state into permanent conservation through Land Trust

A pileated woodpecker in Quimper West in the Quimper Wildlife Corridor. (Wendy Feltham)

A pileated woodpecker in Quimper West in the Quimper Wildlife Corridor. (Wendy Feltham)

PORT TOWNSEND — About 107 acres have been transferred to Jefferson County to expand the Quimper Wildlife Corridor in Port Townsend.

“It’s wonderful to see how people continue to be inspired by this project,” said Sarah Spaeth, director of conservation for the Jefferson County Land Trust, which worked on the transfer last month.

“There are so many people who love this place and want to do their part to help protect it,” she said.

The county purchased three parcels totaling 107 acres from the state Department of Natural Resources last year through the department’s Trust Land Transfer program. The transfer, finalized on Feb. 28, moved three parcels into county ownership using a grant from the county’s Conservation Futures Fund and matched by private donations for a total of $383,000.

The corridor connects more than 3 miles of undeveloped wetlands, forests and meadows along a 100-year floodplain that drains into the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

“Hundreds of native species rely on this wildlife habitat for food, shelter, and migration, and miles of Cappy’s Trails weave through it,” the trust said in a statement. “Since 1996, Jefferson Land Trust has worked with the City of Port Townsend, Jefferson County, volunteers, and many other partners to piece together this greenbelt one property at a time.”

Jefferson County began leasing the three parcels — known as Quimper West, Quimper East and Baby Quimper — in 2009, and in 2021 the trust began fundraising to permanently acquire the land.

The trust raised $3.2 million between 2021-2023 to work with the county, DNR and private landowners to acquire and protect parcels along the corridor.

“These are such important pieces of the Quimper Wildlife Corridor puzzle,” said Jefferson County District 2 Commissioner Heidi Eisenhour. “It’s very exciting that the long-held vision for these properties is being realized. They will benefit the community and wildlife for generations.”

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at peter.segall@peninsulanews.us.

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