Land trust acquires Columbia River island



The Columbia Land Trust on Wednesday announced the acquisition of a 136-acre island in Columbia River near Beacon Rock State Park.

Pierce Island is a natural island directly below Beacon Rock, and one of the last remaining locations for persistent sepal yellowcress, an endangered plant in the mustard family, according to the land trust.

The Vancouver-based nonprofit acquired the island through a transfer from The Nature Conservancy, which also provided a $120,000 endowment for stewardship. The Columbia Land Trust plans to actively manage the island in an effort to restore and preserve the habitat it provides. The group has already removed noxious weeds to that end.

The Nature Conservancy purchased Pierce Island in 1984 to protect it from a clear-cut and industrial use. Its transfer is the fourth such agreement between The Nature Conservancy and the Columbia Land Trust in recent years.

The Columbia Land Trust has conserved close to 24,000 acres of land in Washington and Oregon since its founding in 1990.