Mazama Pocket Gopher

Mazama pocket gophers are an important component in South Sound prairies. While still found in Thurston and Pierce Counties, they are globally rare and considered threatened with extinction by the State of Washington.
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Technical Information

Cascadia Prairie Oak Partnership brings together professional conservationists and restorationists from throughout the Northwest. If you would like to reference scientific papers about prairies or network with the professional conservation community please contact Hannah Anderson.

Volunteer News


The wildflower bloom cycle is beginning; please join us on Tuesdays amongst the wild flowers for prairie restoration activities and wild seed collection. We are also working every Friday at our farms raising seed for prairie restoration. Come see the lowland wild flowers in full bloom this season while restoring this rare ecosystem! 

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Riparian Restoration

The CNLM Riparian Restoration Program has been working with landowners in the Chehalis Basin since 2004 to provide knotweed control services at no cost to landowners. All of our services require an agreement that allows us access to private property.  Please contact Tim Leque by email or by phone at (360) 338-2682.


Growers, restoration partners and students come together at the Violet Prairie Seed Farm

On May 8th the sun was shining and the flowers blooming as restoration partners came together at CNLM’s Violet Prairie Seed Farm to see the progression of the South Sound Prairie Conservation Nursery.  The second year balsamroot was in full splendor and the next five rows of first year plants hinted at the seed harvests to come.  Two rows of harsh paintbrush grabbed the eye and again the next eleven rows of fresh transplants…


The South Sound Prairies Quarterly Highlights 

January-March 2015

The South Sound Program has been working on prairie conservation for two decades. We work with a wide-range of public agencies and private landowners assisting with protection and restoration of prairies.

CNLM gains a new Burn Boss!

After eight years of training and participating on more than 350 controlled burns in Puget Sound and around the country, Mason McKinley has met the requirements to be a Burn Boss Type II. It takes several hundred hours of classroom training and numerous evaluations by experienced firefighters to fulfill the national standards set by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, and no wonder: it is a big responsibility to be a burn boss!

Shout outs for sprouts! Grass-specific herbicides do not affect camas germination

Spring is here and science on the prairie is ramping up!  Alex Lincoln, our Americorps Prairie Science Technician, has been investigating whether the grass-specific herbicides used to control invasives have any off-target effects on native prairie plants like the common camas. 

What's in a name? The story of the two Brians and the two Vans

We have assigned names to two of our most famous larks, but do you know why? The practice of naming animals is controversial and has been since the days when Jane Goodall decided to assign names to the chimpanzees she was studying, rather than follow the standard practice of assigning them numbers. 

Veterans help restore the prairies again!

Just as the prairies on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) are supported by the Department of Defense, the prairies surrounding JBLM are also receiving help from veterans. In collaboration with the Washington Department of Veteran Affairs (WDVA), we kicked off the second year of the Veterans Conservation Corps (VCC). This program is a collaboration to connect veterans with careers in conservation and increase their competitiveness in the job market.

We have a new Prairie Demonstration Garden!

Through our partnership with the Sustainability in Prisons Project, Laura Brusson, our Americorps Plant Propagation Technician, has been working alongside the Department of Corrections (DOC) crew from Cedar Creek Corrections Center to create a native prairie demonstration garden. The project began this past winter with the objective to provide hands-on landscape experience for the DOC crew and to serve as a tool to educate the public on native plants and how they can be used for gardening.

If you build it, they will come! The saga of the Oregon spotted frog at Mima Creek Preserve

Since 2007, CNLM has been restoring habitat at Mima Creek Preserve, located on the Black River, south of Littlerock. Funding to restore the preserve was provided by National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) with the objective to establish wetland habitat for waterfowl. However, during the restoration process, it was decided that we should also create habitat for Oregon spotted frog.



October-December 2014

Acorn Woodpeckers Respond To Restoration at JBLM

In the oak woodlands across the south Sound, including areas on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, CNLM staff and volunteers have been hard at work releasing oaks from the shade of Douglas fir trees, controlling weeds choking out small oak saplings, and clearing brush and Scot’s broom to lessen the severity of the restoration burns happening across the...

Goodbye Webster’s: The End of an Era

On December 31, 2014 we officially shuttered the Webster’s native seed farm. This site served as the training ground for CNLM’s seed production program and taught us how to take a small volunteer powered nursery and turn it into one of the largest suppliers of native seed in Western Washington. In its final year Webster’s seed farm produced...

Pelletized Seed On The Prairie

This fall, one of our previous VetCorps members, Deston Denniston, showcased his passion and skill for restoration by creating pelletized seed for a large-scale seeding project with CNLM. Working together with Sarah Krock, Deston and others seeded experimental plots at three prairie sites with 9 native species...

Boom Year for South Puget Sound Streaked Horned Lark

2014 was a great year for the Streaked Horned Larks breeding on Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Data shows that nest success in 2014 was approximately 90% greater than 2013, resulting in the banding of 104 nestlings (up more than 50% than 2013). In addition to the benefit of increased nest success, the increased number of nestlings banded will strengthen our analysis of juvenile survivorship...

Welcome Gary Slater, Our Newest Staff Member

Have you seen an eastern bluebird or brown-headed nuthatch in Everglades National Park? How about a western bluebird on San Juan or Vancouver Island? If so, you have observed the conservation outcome of some of the work conducted by Gary Slater, who was hired by CNLM in late October as an avian...




New video about the South Sound Prairies

The South Puget Sound Program of the Center for Natural Lands Management is excited to share with you our new video about the South Sound Prairies. For use by the South Sound Prairies conservation community, this video aims to provide background information about the prairies as well as provide some insight about the type and breadth of conservation actions being carried out to restore and maintain the prairies.

“If we don’t preserve these prairies where they are now, there are quite a few species that are likely to disappear from this area.” See beautiful images and hear more from plant ecologist Peter Dunwiddie as well as from landowner Bryan Fisher and volunteer Darlene Bidwell about the past, present, and future of South Sound Prairies.

We encourage you to share this video with your network, just use the YouTube link ( or contact for more information about using the video in your work.