The Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) has purchased 140 acres in South Thurston County to protect native habitats and wildlife. Known as the Deschutes River Preserve, the property is home to a population of Mazama pocket gophers, recently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Restoration efforts on the preserve could support more rare plants and animals, such as the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly, streaked horned lark, and golden paintbrush.
The Deschutes River Preserve includes grassland, oak woodland, riparian habitat, and is bordered by the Deschutes River. Located near the town of Rainier, the preserve was previously the Northwest Equestrian Center.