DU recently acquired a 317-acre conservation easement on the Rosenau property in Spokane County, Washington, that will protect wetlands and surrounding upland habitat from development. Located in close proximity to Spokane, this area is experiencing rapid residential development, threatening key wildlife habitats.
Over the past decade, DU has partnered with federal, state and county agencies; local land trusts; and private landowners to acquire conservation easements on properties with high-priority wetlands. But past easements have been held by one of DU's conservation partners. The Rosenau conservation easement is the first instance where DU will hold and monitor the easement in this region.
The Rosenau property contains a diverse mix of wetlands and seasonal springs, as well as grasslands, pine forest, aspen stands and basalt rock outcroppings. This tract is located near the 16,000-acre Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, an important waterfowl breeding and migration area. The great diversity of habitat on the property supports an equally diverse wildlife population. In addition to waterfowl, this property supports moose, black bears, mule deer, elk, wild turkeys and pheasants.
Funding for the purchase of this easement was provided by a $1 million North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant awarded to DU and partners for protecting and restoring wetland, riparian, and upland habitats in the Channeled Scablands. DU will seek additional funding from NAWCA to complete the restoration of wetland and upland habitats on the property and protect and restore additional properties in this high-priority area.