Blue Mountain Land Trust’s project in the Reser Road wetland is different from anything we had done before. Working with a team, we joined an effort funded by the Washington Department of Transportation to create a 20-acre easement as part of a Highway 12 wetland mitigation project. With BMLT on board to protect the land in perpetuity, the team selected an area in Walla Walla County where a once-lush wetland had been filled in by soil erosion and was now a perennially soggy spot in a wheat field.
Partnering with Tri-State Steelheaders and Ducks Unlimited, three ponds were created and native bulrush was planted as a buffer against repeated erosion. An acre of water filled in where the land had once been dry, and took to the area better than was ever anticipated. Though it was expected the ponds would be full of water only in the wet season, they are now wet year-round. Partners have since planted more native grasses and trees on the property, and seen a tremendous range of wildlife call it home, including elk, deer, pocket gophers, harriers, swallows, Northern Shoveller ducks, and Pacific Chorus and Columbia Spotted frogs.