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Palouse prairie land protected

UPDATED: Tue., May 3, 2022

Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Sixty-five acres of land containing rare Palouse prairie in northern Latah County will be protected under a new conservation agreement with Palouse Land Trust.

Landowner Sarah Metcalf signed the agreement that will prevent future development on her property while keeping it in her private ownership.

According to a news release from Palouse Land Trust, the land contains a remnant of native Palouse prairie “that existed long before colonial settlement converted nearly all the native grasslands to the croplands seen today.”

That includes the federally threatened flowering plant, Spalding’s catchfly. The land is also a travel corridor for wildlife and pollinators. More than 50 species of birds, big game and other wildlife have been seen on the property.

Metcalf bought the property in 1995 and since then has worked with experts from the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Latah County and the Latah Soil and Water Conservation District to learn more about the native plants on her land.

The Palouse Land Trust helped to secure funding for the project through private donations and grants. The land trust received grants for the project from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and The Kendeda Fund through a collaboration with the Heart of the Rockies Initiative’s Keep It Connected Campaign.

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