The unique characteristics of the Lost Lake wetland make it possible for an unusual array of plant species to thrive.
Through the WA Dept. of Natural Resources, Natural Heritage Program, vegetation ecologist Joe Rocchio has visited the Preserve a number of times as part of the Program’s effort to identify statewide wetland conservation priorities. From this process, the Lost Lake wetland was identified as a Washington “Wetland of High Conservation Value.”
As the land rises above the elevation of the lake, the ecosystem shifts from wetland to upland forest. The transition zone hosts a unique community of species that thrive in an area characterized by wet soils with low oxygen. From left to right, below, Shrubby Cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa), Arrow-Leaved Coltsfoot (Petasites sagittatus), and Englemann Spruce (Picea engelmannii), pictured below, are a few of the characteristic species you will see in the transition zone at the Lost Lake Preserve.
The species that inhabit the forested landscape surrounding Lost Lake are adapted to cold winters, hot summers, periodic fires, and low precipitation. Towering Douglas-Fir and Western Larch dominate the forest canopy, with understory species of grasses, shrubs, and wildflowers providing food and shelter for an abundance of wildlife.