Skagit lake purchased for preservation

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Monday, May 10, 2004

LYMAN, Wash. -- A long, shallow lake considered vital to salmon recovery on the Skagit River has been purchased for preservation by a conservation trust.

The Skagit Land Trust has bought 107 acres surrounding all but the western end of Minkler Lake and much of Child's Creek, a tiny tributary of the Skagit River.

Minkler Lake can be seen from Highway 20 near this town about five miles east of Sedro Woolley in Skagit County. It provides habitat for salmon, particularly juvenile coho gaining strength before heading to sea.

The trust bought the property for $279,000 from the owner's family. The lake covers about one-third of the land.

Brenda Cunningham, land stewardship director for the trust, said the trust plans to clean up the lake shore but make no other improvements. Weathered pilings can still be seen from a sawmill built nearby that burned in 1920.

Cunningham said she hopes natural processes will continue shaping the lake into better habitat for native fish.

"We are really excited to add this land to our protected natural areas," said Molly Doran, executive director of the Skagit Land Trust. "It is teeming with wildlife of all sorts."

The trust received a $237,150 grant from the Salmon Recovery Funding Board, a state commission that dispenses salmon recovery dollars. Private donors contributed $41,850.

The trust, which had $2.4 million in assets in 2002, has protected 3,300 acres of Skagit County land.


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