morse wildlife preserve

The Morse Wildlife Preserve contains more than 90 acres of land that was preserved to be wildlife habitat. It also provides an exceptional educational and recreational experience for hundreds of visitors each year. Forterra, Tahoma Audubon Society, and the Morse Force work together to help steward the land for today’s visitors and future generations.
The preserve started with a donation of approximately 50 acres from Lloyd and Maxine Morse. A private party purchased another 40-plus acres and then donated that land to the Tahoma Land Conservancy (now Forterra). Forterra owns the property, while the Tahoma Audubon Society provides educational programming and support. The Morse Force, a group of dedicated local volunteers, provides essential management and maintenance support.
The preserve is an exceptional educational opportunity to learn about five critical habitats. As you walk the trails, look for:
  • Dry Douglas-fir forest
  • Prairie
  • Oregon white (Garry) oak savanna/ woodland
  • Moist lowland mixed forest (cedar, hemlock, Sitka spruce and Douglas-fir)

wildlife program

It is our primary objective to manage the land to protect and conserve endemic wildlife species. For more than twenty-five years, Forterra and others have been restoring the property to its original state with the prairie and oak savanna that were once common in this area. Many species of mammals, birds and insects adapted to this type of terrain saw dramatic population decline as their native habitat was replaced by agricultural and urban development. Thousands of hours of volunteer work have been applied to seed gathering, tilling, planting, watering and shielding seedling oaks and indigenous prairie plants.
With several different types of habitats on the property, it is an ideal home for many bird species, from owls and other raptors to aquatic fowl and (as of 2007) the uncommon western bluebird. Erecting bird boxes and fostering vegetation to provide food and cover encourages the growth of bird populations on the property.
The wetland, covering about half of the Preserve, includes a large pond and several open channels. Both migrating and resident birds use the wetland, which changes configuration regularly because of beaver dam building. Other mammals, such as deer, coyote, bobcat, rabbits, and a variety of rodents live here or make foraging visits. Cougar, bear, and elk are more infrequent visitors, but are present in the area. Additionally, the Preserve’s excellent avian habitat makes it a prime monitoring site for the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) Program.


The Morse Wildlife Preserve was established in 1995 by a donation of land from Lloyd and Maxine Morse. Situated near the headwaters of the north fork of Muck Creek, the 238-acre preserve is a mosaic of conifer forest, wetlands, oak savanna, and prairie.


visitor information

Hours of Operation – Morse Wildlife Preserve is open to the public on Second Sundays, April -October from 9am-3pm.
April 9 | May 14 | June 11 | July 9 | August 13 | September 10 | October 8
Information Page for Visitors:
Please note, pets are not allowed at the preserve and should be left at home when visiting.

get involved

To support work like this make a donation or sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on Forterra’s latest projects.

explore related projects

Scroll to Top


Sign up for our newsletter and follow us to stay connected, keep up with our work and secure the places you love.