History of the Preserve
In January 2010, Okanogan Highlands Alliance responded to an extraordinary opportunity, purchasing 38 acres of wetland and 27 acres of adjacent forestland on the south end of Lost Lake. While the Lost Lake Wetland and Wildlife Preserve sustains diverse plant and animal populations, both the wetland and adjacent forestland came to OHA with a need of restoration measures. The forestland was aggressively harvested in 1992. OHA has developed a management plan with goals to maintain and enhance forest health, habitat, and diversity while reducing weeds and fire danger. The wetland supports a wide variety of life, and through a partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, OHA installed fencing in the summer of 2011 to protect the wetland and its valuable diversity of species from the impacts of livestock on the sensitive habitat. Nesting boxes have been installed throughout the transition zone between wetland and forest to increase habitat for cavity nesters, from owls to ducks to flying squirrels. Weeds, such as thistle and mullein, have been manually removed each year by volunteers. The Curlew Job Corps and volunteers built and maintain two short trails enabling visitors to enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the preserve with minimal impact to the ecosystems. OHA is currently engaged in a collaboration with NRCS to fully fence the preserve and thin the upland forest to reduce wildfire danger, improve habitat for wildlife, and increase forest health and resiliency.