Little White Salmon Biodiversity Reserve

The Little White Salmon Biodiversity Reserve is the name given to a collection of parcels purchased over a 35 year period in the Columbia River Gorge near White Salmon. The land totals over 1,000 acres stretching from the river to the plateau and includes varied microclimates. It is an idea place to teach ecological principles and practices.

LWSBR is a dramatic ecotone that encompassing diverse forest and farmland habitats at the confluence of the Little White Salmon and Columbia Rivers.

Photo by Jim Thrailkill/USFWS (CC)

A non-profit educational land endowment started in 1976 by a group of local teachers and conservationists.  The Reserve contains the largest remaining block of ancient forest on the northern side of the Columbia River Gorge, providing the only significant corridor between federal lands to support a continuing link between Oregon and Washington populations of the northern spotted owl. Other sensitive and at-risk species include: the peregrine falcon, the pileated woodpecker, the northern goshawk, the olive-sided flycatcher, long-eared and long-legged myotis, Townsend’s big-eared bat, Vaux’s swift, Larch Mountain and Van Dyke’s salamanders, harlequin duck, Oregon spotted frog, and —prospectively– a partnership to extend habitat for the western pond turtle.


The “Learning Watershed” model being pioneered by LWSBR aims to:

  • Study and enhance the carrying capacity of living systems
  • Be a permanent steward of critical habitat, biodiversity and endangered “cultural capacity”
  • IMG_3571Provide land and facilities for education and research in sustainable forestry, energy, agriculture, and technology based on ecological principles
  • Build apprenticeships and employment in sustainable resource management, such as bee-keeping, fruit and vegetable production, livestock husbandry, food processing, wood mill, heritage grain production, etc…
  • Manage the retreat in ancient forest at the heart of the Columbia Gorge to inspire innovation and leadership, encourage dialogue and new partnerships, and promote better stewardship throughout the planet.