The mission of the Kittitas Conservation Trust (KCT) is to protect and enhance fish and wildlife habitat, open space, and recreational assets in the upper Yakima River basin.
Kittitas Conservation Trust (KCT) was created out of a cooperative agreement between the Yakama Nation, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Trendwest Investments, now called New Suncadia LLC. The purpose was to mitigate the development of the Suncadia Master Planned Resort by creating permanent habitat protection. The result was a KCT held conservation easement of over 1,200 acres of the Cle Elum River geomorphic floodplain that flows through the heart of the Suncadia resort.
There were additional mitigation requirements as well. One was approximately 2,200 acres of conservation easements on natural and managed open space within of the resort. Another, credited offsite mitigation of 1,500 acres of habitat restoration and protection. KCT was created with the vision of becoming a community-based land, water, and habitat conservation organization. Our board envisioned KCT building upon public and private components to achieve positive outcomes for terrestrial and aquatic habitat conservation in the upper Yakima River watershed.
Purpose of Kittitas Conservation Trust
Implement the terms of the Cooperative Agreement between Yakama Nation, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Suncadia to further a policy of no net loss of fish and wildlife habitat. These terms include:
– Acquiring and owning conservation easements and real property interests to protect fish and wildlife habitat, open space and scenic views
– Protecting and enhancing natural resource assets for the benefit of the public
– Acquiring water rights to provide instream flows in the upper Yakima River and its tributaries
– Managing Trust property interests using land stewardship plans and Land Trust Alliance standards and practices
– Securing public and private fiscal support to achieve natural resource conservation goals