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Where We Work

the heart of the cascades

The southern Washington Cascades lie in the center of the Pacific Northwest. This region is home to iconic peaks, including Mt. Adams (Pahto), Mount St. Helens (Lawetlat’la), and Mt. Rainier (Tahoma), and the lands in between. Bordered on the south by the Columbia River, this diverse landscape is home to a wide array of ecosystems and wildlife, including many threatened and rare species. The creeks and rivers of the region are critical habitats for threatened salmon, steelhead, and bull trout. Forests, including vital areas of surviving ancient and mature stands, wetlands, and high alpine meadows, sustain a striking diversity of plants and animals.

This area is a vital transition zone within the Cascade range and a stronghold for critical habitat. The Gifford Pinchot National Forest is the centerpiece of this landscape and its sustainable management is vital to the continued health and resilience of the region.

The land and its original stewards

The Land we work to protect, now referred to as the southern Washington Cascades, is the home of diverse and unique communities of the Cowlitz, Yakama, Nisqually, Salish, and other peoples, and has been for thousands of years. These lands and their rich resources enabled many peoples to thrive and they stewarded the land with their traditional cultures.

Honoring this place and those who served as stewards of the land before European settlement—and acknowledging the historic and continuing injustices committed against them—is an important part of protecting and caring for the places we love.

Today, we appreciate the resilience and persistence of the Cowlitz, Yakama, Salish, Nisqually, and other Indigenous peoples and the important role they continue to play in our region, as we join in the work of protecting this land for future generations.