Liberty Hill’s camas and the impact of mining

A crushed rock mining company has submitted a proposal to demolish Liberty Hill in St. Helens. Liberty Hill is the largest Camas meadow left in northwest Oregon, is more pristine than any other such habitat within forty miles, and is home to an array of plants and wildlife rarely seen in our area including wildflowers,Continue reading “Liberty Hill’s camas and the impact of mining”

2022 Wildlife Photos

Just a little compilation of some of the wildlife photos that Matt, Jon, and Luke took in Columbia County this year. Enjoy! Note – The Liberty Hill depicted in the above photo is once again in danger of being destroyed for the purposes of commercial crushed rock. More information on what makes Liberty Hill specialContinue reading “2022 Wildlife Photos”

One of the wildest creeks in Northwest Oregon

Picturesque ravines drop hundreds of yards from ridge to water. Old growth giants tower above the creek. Waterfalls burst into mammoth basalt cauldrons. You wouldn’t think such a place existed in Columbia County. And it doesn’t. But a mile outside the county border, hidden in the forested hills above Westport, runs a remarkable stretch ofContinue reading “One of the wildest creeks in Northwest Oregon”

Rare and extirpated butterflies of Northwest Oregon

Butterflies are often among the most endangered of insects. Some of their caterpillars can only survive on select host plants, so if their habitats are destroyed and the host plants disappear, the butterflies disappear as well. Of the 65 species of butterfly native to northwest Oregon, 15 are now rare or missing entirely. (“Extirpated” isContinue reading “Rare and extirpated butterflies of Northwest Oregon”

Do you want to survey turtles with us?

Wild Columbia is working together with the Oregon Native Turtle Working Group and Scappoose Bay Watershed Council to organize turtle surveys this spring and summer. We’re trying to survey every potential water body in Columbia County. Do you want to help? To volunteer, you have to attend a training day. The first one will beContinue reading “Do you want to survey turtles with us?”

Migrating amphibians – have you seen a toad?

As rain falls and the temperature warms up, frogs and salamanders have been out and about. Perhaps they’ve been stopping in your yard or crossing your roads at night. You may have heard them call from your local ponds, or even seen them floating in the water. Where did they come from? Spring is theContinue reading “Migrating amphibians – have you seen a toad?”

Updates at Dalton Lake

Since the bike trail at Dalton Lake became “Dalton Lake Nature Preserve“, we’ve enjoyed watching the place change. There are now info kiosks and bike stands on both ends as well as new benches. Friends of Dalton Lake has worked to widen trails and remove some invasive vegetation, and Patrick Birkle leads nature tours. SophiaContinue reading “Updates at Dalton Lake”

Rosey, Lucas, Matt, and Jon year in review

To add some fun to this freezing New Year, I asked our main blog participants to give their 2021 highlights. What was your favorite trail, favorite reptile, favorite moment? Here are their replies and photos – share your own answers in the comments! Hike of the Year Rosey: In June I did an 11-mile hikeContinue reading “Rosey, Lucas, Matt, and Jon year in review”

Birding at Santosh Wildlife Area and Honeyman Road

The longer we work on this website and wildlife survey, the more hidden locations we turn up. One new discovery is “Santosh Wildlife Area” at the north end of the CalPortland property in Scappoose. Marlea Berumen told us about the place, otherwise we never would have known it existed. We started at the CalPortland officeContinue reading “Birding at Santosh Wildlife Area and Honeyman Road”

Failing to find Mist’s Big Spring

The journey can be better than the destination, and not finding what you were looking for doesn’t mean you didn’t find everything you needed. Our friend Lucas is a budding herpetologist who has been assisting Matt and I in our Columbia County Reptiles and Amphibians project for several months. Last week we made a tripContinue reading “Failing to find Mist’s Big Spring”