In October 2021, Conservation Northwest—a Seattle-based NGO—closed on the purchase of the 9,243 acre Figelinski Ranch in the Tunk Valley of Okanogan County in Washington State, USA. Following the completion of the purchase, the deed was transferred directly to the Colville Confederated Tribes, whose reservation lies just south of the property.
The property is the linchpin to habitat corridors running east to west—linking the Cascade Mountains and the Rockies—and north to south—connecting the sagelands of the Columbia Basin to British Columbia’s arid grasslands. Together, this acquisition will help protect breeding sites for sharp-tailed grouse and conserve habitat for Canada lynx, wolverine, American badger, golden eagle, burrowing owl, and other species.
The Figelinski Ranch was originally part of the Colville Reservation until Congress shrunk it in 1982. This acquisition secures the property’s wildlife values and restores the land to its historical stewards, simultaneously advancing landscape conservation and environmental justice.
The Figelinski Ranch was purchased using funds raised from private donors and foundations. Conservation Northwest is grateful to the Quick Response Fund for Nature for rapidly providing a $50,000 grant to help with closing costs for the property. The acquisition is part of a long-running public-private coalition effort to protect that corridor called the Working for Wildlife Initiative.
Authored by Sanjiv Fernando