Forterra and Local Landowner Conserve 44 Acres Along Yakima River

ELLENSBURG, WA — Forterra, a Washington-based nonprofit land trust, worked alongside local resident and landowner Ralla Vickers to conserve Vicker’s 44-acre property along the Yakima River. The property has a healthy riparian habitat important for salmon and other migratory wildlife.

Vicker’s property is a 44-acre site that sits directly along the Yakima River approximately 17 miles southeast of Cle Elum. The property has streams, floodplains and forests along the banks of the river that provide important shade and food sources for salmon and wildlife such as mule deer, beaver, bull trout, osprey and bald eagles. The Yakima River is part of the ancestral lands of the Yakama Nation, who have stewarded the land and water since time immemorial.

When asked why she wanted to conserve the land and why it was meaningful to her, Ralla Vickers responded with a haiku, “Wildlife habitat / Water air and the forest / Nurture all of us.”

Vickers has lived on the property for more than 30 years and sought out Forterra to evaluate how she could conserve the land. Forterra worked with Vickers to place a conservation easement on the property which will allow Vickers to retain ownership of the land but restricts certain uses of the land — such as development — in a legally binding agreement that runs with the land in perpetuity.

“The Yakima River is vital to the people, tribes and salmon of Washington,” said Forterra’s managing director of conservation transactions Joe Sambataro. “Ralla Vickers is one of many landowners who help ensure that the critical ecosystems we need are intact for generations to come.”

Forterra has facilitated nearly 500 conservation transactions in the past 30 years and has conserved more than 250,000 acres. Forterra monitors more than 100 easement properties each year to ensure the original intentions are upheld. Vickers is donating the necessary funds to complete the conservation easement and long-term monitoring enforcement of the easement.

To learn more about Forterra’s conservation efforts, visit


Heidi Taffera
Managing Director of Media Relations and Storytelling, Forterra


Forterra is a Washington-based nonprofit that enhances, supports, and stewards the region’s most precious resources — its communities and its ecosystems. Forterra conserves and stewards land, develops innovative policies, and supports sustainable rural and urban development. In its 30-year history, Forterra has helped conserve more than 250,000 acres. Its work stretches from the farmlands and river canyons of Yakima to the estuaries and forests of Washington’s coastline, reaching more than 100 counties, cities, and towns. Visit

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