Are there turtles in your water?

Do you have a pond or slough on your property? Now that warmer days are upon us, you might see some turtles on the logs. Our project at Columbia County Reptiles and Amphibians is recording every lake and river that is home to turtles in Columbia County. If you have a pond, stream, or sloughContinue reading “Are there turtles in your water?”

What happened to Laurel Beach Park?

It was a mystery. I was perusing the internet, trying to find additional parks in our area, when I ran across the name “Laurel Beach Park”. I found it on an old testing site for Columbia County Parks. The site said: Laurel Beach is a day-use facility featuring access to one of the Columbia River’sContinue reading “What happened to Laurel Beach Park?”

4-H outing to Trojan Park and Welter Cemetery

Last week my sister invited Matt and I to lead a 4-H herpetology and conservation event. For the site we chose Trojan Park and the area surrounding Welter Cemetery. The Welter Family Cemetery is a century-old cemetery perched on the Old Columbia River Highway, across from Trojan Park. The Welter family moved here from LuxemburgContinue reading “4-H outing to Trojan Park and Welter Cemetery”

The Elusive Columbia Torrent Salamander

The only salamander that shares Columbia County’s namesake, the Columbia Torrent salamander, had never been officially recorded in the county and that just didn’t seem right. These “Torrents” were one of the first salamanders I ever searched for as their habitat niche is in the spray zones of the waterfalls I love. Years ago theContinue reading “The Elusive Columbia Torrent Salamander”

Whitetails of the Columbia

Our county’s most unique mammal may be the Columbian White-tailed Deer. Just 50 years ago these beautiful creatures were nearly extinct, hanging on in a few islands in the Columbia River. In 1978 another small population was discovered at the southern end of the Willamette Valley. The subspecies was added to the federal Endangered SpeciesContinue reading “Whitetails of the Columbia”

Old Highway 30 and Little Jack Falls

Imagine a Columbia County with no roads. It’s easy if you try – I grew up with family members older than that. In 1899, E. Henry Wemme, a German-American businessman based in Portland, brought the first car to Oregon. Before the roads came, newcomers traveling by boat and wagon built a small mill on theContinue reading “Old Highway 30 and Little Jack Falls”