Public–private partnerships for preservation of old growth forest in The PNW

old growth w/ spring board cut
Massive old growth Douglas Fir stump with springboard cut, now a forest nurse

This stump, probably logged a 100 years ago, dates back untold 100s of years. This area was once selectively logged which left a number of old growth trees and stumps to shelter and nourish the ancient forest floor of the Stimpson Family Nature Preserve.

Located just minutes from commercial and residential tracts in Bellingham, WA, lies a gem of a nature reserve with 350 acres of old-growth forest, woodlands, and wetlands that is now protected and maintained for future generations. Following a gift from the Stimson Family descendents in 2000 and augmented and supported by a partnership of seven public and private entities, this primal forest is readily available with four miles of trails for public enjoyment and education now and into the distant future. The partnership includes: The Whatcom Land Trust, Department of Natural Resources, Whatcom County Parks and Recreation and The Conservation Futures Fund, The City of Bellingham, The Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District, Western Washington University, and The Rotary Club of Bellingham.

The Reserve includes the Lake Louise Natural Resources Conservation Area owned by the Department of Natural Resources, 196 acres owned by Whatcom Land Trust and 34 acres jointly owned by the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County. Whatcom County Parks & Recreation manages the Reserve, and Whatcom Land Trust maintains a permanent stewardship endowment for its upkeep.

Attribution: Todd Ellsworth

Within a few feet of the parking lot, you are immersed in deep woods as you skirt around the Beaver Pond, covered in a chartreuse blanket of algae.

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This “Black pond” gets very little sunlight

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Cousins beside an Old growth fir

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A 457 year old fir toppled by wind and wet ground

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Into the canopy

A series of nurse stumps

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Blow down across the trail

Vanilla leaf
Vanilla-leaf (Achlys triphylla)

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Nettles (Urtica dioica) or a subspecies thereof – flowers are purplish

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Devil’s Club (Oplopanax horridus)

Indian pipe
Indian Pipe, (Monotropa uniflora) – An oddball flower that does not use photosynthesis for its food.

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Fungus with a moss hat

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Pileated and Hairy woodpeckers’ work station

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Outcrop of Chuckanut Sandstone

At the same time that we are trying to save the earth itself, we need to be working to preserve the many natural resources we still have so that, just in case we save the planet, we’ll have some nature left for the next generations to enjoy.




  1. Hello Moose folk,

    Here is a photo diary of af a forest preserve in our home town of Bellingham. It is a beautiful place with may trees and stumps many hundreds of years old and with its preserved status, sit should be there for more hundreds. I hope you enjoy it.

    • Thanks Portlaw, It truly is gorgeous and we love it alot. It is great fun now hiking with all of our kids and their kids. We are now taking the grandkids to the places where we hiked with their parents. It is great fun and fortunately I can still do some hiking.

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