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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Center for Natural
Lands Management
South Sound Prairies Program
120 Union Ave SE #215
Olympia, WA 98501
Main line: 360-464-1024

Patrick Dunn
South Puget Sound 
Program Director


Sanders Freed
Thurston County Program Manager


Sarah Hamman
Prairie Conservation Science
Program Manager


Mason McKinley
Joint Base Lewis-McChord 
Program Manager


Sierra Smith
Conservation Nursery Program Manager


Elspeth Hilton Kim
Cooperative Conservation Program Manager


Joy Hochstein
Grants Administrator


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 Elspeth Hilton Kim.

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Pollinator Visitation at Webster's Nursery

Jennie hand pollinates Puget Balsamroot to test for potential pollinator limitation at Webster's Nursery (photo taken by Jennie Husby). "IF YOU BUILD IT….. THEY WILL COME" That is what Jennie Husby, a graduate student at Evergreen College learned after comparing rates of pollinator visitation on prairie wildflowers growing in natural prairie and a wildflower nursery. The Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) relies on large scale production of native seeds for replanting into the Puget lowland prairies as part of their restoration strategy. During some years, CNLM has struggled with producing large quantities of viable seeds at Webster’s Nursery for certain plant species. Nursery managers have wondered if this was due to low pollinator populations that were not quite up to the task of pollinating tens of thousands of plants that suddenly appear at the nursery each year, which is miles from the closest prairie, and was first planted in 2008.

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Upcoming Cascadia Prairie Oak-Partnership Conference

We are pleased to announce that the Cascadia Prairie-Oak Partnership will host a second ecoregional conference in our partnership with the Northwest Scientific Association. Our joint meeting in 2010 and resulting special edition of NW Science was such a success, we couldn't resist a 2012 follow-up. The meeting will be held Wednesday - Friday, 20-22 March 2013 in Portland, Oregon. Field trips will likely occur on the Saturday following (3/23/13). Please SAVE THE DATE on your calendars and look forward to sharing, learning, and discussing all things prairie-oak in western BC, WA, & OR next spring.
In addition to covering topics like habitat restoration, use of prescribed fire, and species reintroductions, there will be a special symposium focused on the Birds of Prairie-Oak habitats.
For  details including location, theme and schedule, visit: 
The conference flyer can be found here, and the call for papers can be found here.

CNLM Explores Use of Fungus to Improve the Success Rate of Prairie Restoration

Prairie restoration is a major focus of CNLM and its partner organizations. Conservationists invest significant time and resources growing native forb (wildflower) and grass seedlings in nurseries and then planting out those seedlings on former prairie lands to restore habitat. The restored habitat is essential for the survival of native fauna, such as Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly, a candidate for listing under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

Re-planting the prairies in this way has been fairly successful: 80% of the seedlings survive the initial year after planting. However, only 20 to 30% make it through the third year. CNLM wants to increase the odds of seedling survival.

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