Annual Report of the Steamboat Conservation Partnership

The Steamboat Conservation Partnership recently released its latest annual report. As many of you know, the SCP’s fiscal year begins July 1st of each year. Among the highlights are an eighth successful year of operation, continued planning, and collaboration with the Capitol Land Trust to identify important parcels in our area, for preservation. Here are excerpts from the CLT’s annual report:

Donations: During our 2016 – 2017 fiscal year (July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017), we raised $20,727 for Capitol Land Trust, earmarked to finance part of their activities within the Steamboat Peninsula Region where most of us live and/or own property. Donations during the month of June were enhanced by three of our donors matching, dollar for dollar, any donations not exceeding a combined total of $1,500. This allowed us to exceed our annual goal of $15,000 in collections by more than 33.3%. This matching program was a first for the Steamboat Conservation Partnership.

Over the eight years of our existence, we have raised $134,129 for Capitol Land Trust, which is $14,129 above our goal of $120,000 for that eight-year period. We should all be very proud of generating these funds to ensure that many of our natural areas will be available to our children, grandchildren, and beyond.

Activities: This spring many of us in the Steamboat Conservation Partnership, along with friends and neighbors, began restoring a remnant portion of Schneider Prairie. The remnant is located on the north side of the Highway 101 overpass, where the majestic oak tree stands on the SW corner of Steamboat Island Road and Sexton Road. Many of us pass this site on our daily commutes.

We removed blackberries, scotch broom, and invasive non-native trees. Later, 4th Grade classes from the Griffin School worked the site to prepare for fall plantings of native prairie wildflowers and grasses. The project is led by Stephanie Bishop, a parent of Griffin School kids who works for the Thurston Conservation District. Long-time Steamboat Conservation Partnership participants Jack Sisco and Joanne Schuett-Hames helped organize the efforts.

This special project builds on past efforts of the Griffin Neighborhood Association. Years ago, members of the Griffin Neighborhood Association planted Gerry oak trees and other native vegetation in this and other areas after the freeway overpass was built on Steamboat Island Road. At that time Griffin School teachers initiated a long-term monitoring project on the nearby Schneider Creek. This newly restored area will be will now be used as a second outdoor educational site where students learn about our local prairie, and the traditional uses of prairie plants by Native Americans.

Unfortunately, the Capitol Land Trust has not been able to finalize the purchase of a major property near Frye Cove Park during the last year. Although negotiations are technically still ongoing, prospects for the purchase appear dim as the owner is asking for more than the appraised value and Capitol Land Trust is only able to pay for the appraised value. This would have been a major accomplishment for the Steamboat Conservation Partnership which would have financed the stewardship fund for this acquisition.

Since the Steamboat Conservation Partnership was formed in 2009, with our help, Capitol Land Trust has been able to add several areas to its bank of conserved properties within the Steamboat Peninsula Region, including:

  • The Adams Cove Preserve, 35 acres and a pocket estuary in Totten Inlet.
  • The Lower Eld Estuary Preserve, 55 acres along southern Eld Inlet.
  • The Schmidt Conservation Easement addition, 5.5 acres near Hunter Point, adding to 29 acres already conserved.
  • Our donations were used to establish a stewardship fund to protect the remaining 175 acres of the Wynne Tree Farm. The 530 acre Wynne farm has now been conserved. This jewel of a farm is located in the Schneider Creek Valley with the headwaters of Schneider Creek.

These conserved properties are in addition to many other properties in our area conserved in prior years, including the Triple Creek Farm, Randall Preserve, Willits Tree Farm, and Allison Springs.

Organization: The Steamboat Conservation Partnership is organized into the following committees: 1) Fund raising; 2) planning/technical committee; and 3) general operations. We are always seeking members to serve on these committees. Let us know if you are interested.

The fund-raising committee solicits continuing, monthly contributions, as well as periodic contributions, including end of the year calendar year contributions every December and hosts tables at the annual Capitol Land Trust breakfast every February. The fund-raising committee rarely meets, but individual members assume the fund-raising activities.

The planning/technical committee is our most active committee and, with the assistance of Capitol Land Trust staff, researches properties within the Steamboat Peninsula region that would be appropriate for long-term conservation. Contacts are made with property owners explaining the Steamboat Conservation Partnership and our relations with Capitol Land Trust, and inquiring if these property owners are interested in conserving or preserving their properties. As you know, all conservation or preservation efforts are entirely voluntary with the property owners. Several properties under review are of significant interest. Through these efforts, Capitol Land Trust is in discussions with several property owners who may seek to conserve their property.

The general committee consists of all members of the fund-raising committee and planning committee. This committee basically runs the Steamboat Conservation Partnership.The planning committee and general committee meet in alternate months during the fall, winter and spring. Meetings are not held during the summer.

We hope your enthusiasm to continue the Steamboat Conservation Partnership has not waned, and that you once again will make an annual contribution or periodic contributions to ensure natural areas continue in the Steamboat Peninsula Region continue to be conserved.

The Capitol Land Trust’s annual summer gala and auction will be held at Ralph and Nancy Munro’s home on Saturday, August 5, from 5 to 9 pm. Tickets purchased by July 24 cost $85 per person, while tickets purchased from July 25 through August 5 cost $100 per person. Details are found on the Land Trust’s website. This is a great event and an opportunity to meet many other contributors to CLT.

Thank you for your past support.

Peter Reid, Co-Chair, (360) 259-3591 and
Steve Lundin, Co-Chair, (360) 866-1214 and

The Steamboat Conservation Partnership provides an effective means by which local landowners can preserve the special natural areas that make the Eld and Totten Inlet watersheds so unique. The Griffin Neighborhood Association is proud to be part of this unique partnership. Please click here to learn more about the Steamboat Conservation Partnership and support their work however you can.

Posted in Capitol Land Trust, Steamboat Conservation Partnership.