Deschutes Land Trust adds 160 acres to Priday Ranch wildlife preserve

The Bend Bulletin reports on the addition of 160 acres to Priday Ranch.
The Bend Bulletin

 

The Deschutes Land Trust has expanded the size of its Priday Ranch wildlife preserve by 160 acres. The expansion area includes 1.5 miles of Ward Creek and is located just north of the main Priday Ranch property.

The land north of Madras was purchased from Annan and Marla Priday, the previous owners of Priday Ranch, said Natasha Bellis, conservation director for the Deschutes Land Trust. The land trust purchased two parcels for $259,000 and intends to sell the parcel that has less ecological value compared to the Ward Creek parcel.

Ward Creek flows into Antelope Valley Creek at Priday Ranch and then eventually joins with Trout Creek. Drought in recent years has taken a toll on these creeks, with sections of them running dry in recent years.

The newly protected section of Ward Creek provides year-round water, offering habitat that is vital for young summer steelhead. Ward Creek also provides habitat for Rocky Mountain elk, mule deer, jack rabbits, beaver, bobcats and cougar. The area is also home to ground-nesting bird and raptors, including golden eagles.

The Deschutes Land Trust acknowledges that Priday Ranch is within the lands ceded to the United States by the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation in a treaty signed in 1855. The Land Trust says it will involve the tribes in developing strategies for managing and restoring the new parcel in conjunction with the rest of Priday Ranch.

Priday Ranch can be visited on guided tours. Sign-ups are available through the Land Trust website, www.deschuteslandtrust.org/hikes.