Nisqually Land Trust today announced successful completion of a 2,500 acre, $10.5 million wildlife corridor connecting local, state, and federally protected lands near the main entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. 

The organization completed the corridor with purchase of 520 acres of environmentally sensitive land in Pierce County, from the Hancock Timber Resource Group. 

The purchase is the third from the private Boston-based company. All told, 1,840 acres was acquired from the company over the past four years. Known as the Mount Rainier Gateway Initiative, the project is located directly north of Ashford, between Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Elbe Hills State Forest. The protected corridors allow wildlife to adapt to habitat changes by traveling from low country to high, from east to west and north to south, and from timberlands to river bottoms.

The Land Trust purchased the property with a federal land-acquisition grant through the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, which will hold a conservation easement on the property in perpetuity. Nisqually Indian Tribe, which helped provide funding for the project, will assist the Land Trust in managing the site’s natural resources.