Cowiche Canyon Conservancy, Yakima, WA

Follow Us on Facebook


Protecting our shrub-steppe and
connecting people to this vanishing landscape

News & Events

Community Walks

Community Walks are offered monthly and are open to all ages. Walkers should wear sturdy shoes and outdoor clothes and come prepared for any weather. Walks typically last 1.5 - 2 hours. Feel free to bring binoculars and cameras. Call (509) 248-5065 with questions or email Directions to all of our trailheads can be found on the Trails Page.

Wildflowers & Native Plants | Cowiche Canyon - Uplands
Saturday, March 24, 10 am

Birds | Snow Mountain Ranch
Saturday, April 7, 10 am

Earth Day | Cowiche Canyon - Weikel Trailhead
Saturday, April 21, 10 am

Butterflies | Snow Mountain Ranch
Saturday, May 26, 10 am


Winter Lecture Series

CCC partners with Yakima Valley College (YVC) to offer a series of lectures each winter focused around topics related to shrub steppe habitat. Lectures are held at 7 pm on the YVC Campus located on Nob Hill & 16th Avenue.

Biology and Conservation of Monarch Butterflies in the Pacific Northwest by Dr. David James
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 | 7:00 pm
Deccio Higher Ed Center, Parker Room | Yakima Valley College

Dr. David James will present information on our rapidly evolving new understanding of Monarch butterfly biology and ecology in the Pacific Northwest. He will share the results of five years of citizen scientist aided tagging of Monarch and discuss the importance of creating Monarch butterfly habitat in Washington gardens, parks, and natural areas to help reverse population decline.

The Monarch Butterfly in Mexico: More Than a Migration by Dr. Javier Ponce Saavedra, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 | 7:00 pm
Deccio Higher Ed Center, Parker Room | Yakima Valley College

Demystifying Pacific Lamprey: History, Ecology, Biology, Threats & Restoration by Ralph Lampman
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | 7:00 pm
Glenn Anthon Hall, Room 215 | Yakima Valley College

Ralph Lampman (aka Lamp-rey-man) has been working as a Lamprey Research Biologist for the Yakama Nation Fisheries since 2012. He will demystify Pacific Lamprey secrets in relation to biology and ecology, using photos, videos, and songs, and provide a synapsis for the restoration work focusing on this important species. 



The Beauty of Burns and Value of Post-Fire Habitats for Wildlife by Dr. Teresa J. Lorenz
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 | 7:00 pm
Glenn Anthon Hall, Room TBD | Yakima Valley College

Many people view forest fires as a nuisance at best, especially during smoke-filled summer days that are a regular occurrence in Yakima. Historically, forest fires were a natural disturbance type in eastern Washington.  A large body of research shows that the absence of fire can lead to dense and overstocked stands that are at increased risk for extreme fire events.  Research also shows that burns provide habitat for some of our most valued and rare wildlife species. Dr. Lorenz, a U.S. Forest Service Researcher, will review this body of knowledge, considering both past and current research, with an emphasis on how prescribed burns on the nearby Naches Ranger District are providing habitat for many of these species. 

The Voyage of the Monarch

The Voyage of the Monarch is a collaboration between Cowiche Canyon Conservancy, Yakima Symphony Orchestra, Yakima-Morelia Sister City Association, and friends, celebrating the annual voyage of the Monarch butterfly. The Monarch migrates south for the winter and north for the spring and summer.

The Voyage of the Monarch Art Exhibit
January through March 2018
Essencia Artisan Bakery | 4 N. 3rd Street, Yakima

This exhibit showcases images of the Monarch butterfly and its annual migration. The exhibit can be seen during regular business hours at Essencia.

Children's Art-Making Event with Artist Christie Tirado
Saturday, January 20, 2018 | 10 am and 11:30 am
Yakima Regional Library | 102 N. 3rd Street, Yakima

Artist Christie Tirado will lead children through an art making project representative of the Monarch. Art created will be displayed at The Voyage of the Monarch Art Exhibit at Essencia Artisan Bakery. Butterfly arts and crafts will be available until 3:00 pm. There will also be a Monarch themed story time at 2:00 pm.

Artists Reception
The Voyage of the Monarch Art Exhibit

Friday, February 2, 2018 | 6:30 pm
Essencia Artisan Bakery | 4 N. 3rd Street, Yakima

Read more about the work of Cowiche Canyon Conservancy:

Summer 2017
Winter 2017
Summer 2016
Winter 2016


Annual Reports




Another 200 acres protected at Snow Mountain Ranch!


2,900 Acres protected!

Thanks to the legacy of open space created by the rangeland grazing history of the Tieton Cattle Association and the Corrado and Rightmire families, Cowiche Canyon Conservancy (CCC) the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) were able to add 2,900
acres of habitat to the Oak Creek Wildlife Area. Working together in a new way, WDFW and its non-profit partners secured shrub-steppe mitigation funds from the Kennewick Irrigation District and the Department of Ecology to protect this landscape for future generations. WDFW will manage the lands as part of the
Oak Creek Wildlife Area, while CCC will retain the grazing rights to ensure that the sustainable working land values of the community are honored. RMEF, CCC, WDFW, Kennewick Irrigation District, and the
Department of Ecology provided the funding for this project.

What this means for us is that we will manage an historic grazing operation for the next five years until the current operator retires after 45 years of "light on the land" family grazing. CCC received a permanent "grazing easement" over the entire 2,900 acres, which is now owned by the state. CCC, RMEF and WDFW will work together to maintain habitat for fish and wildlife, provide back country recreation, and explore options for future sustainable grazing opportunities.


Planning on Using our Sites for an Event?

Download the Licensing Agreement for Site Use


Regularly Scheduled Meetings

CCC Board of Directors meets on the second Monday of the month (no meeting in August)
12:00 - 1:00 pm, Yakima Herald Republic Conference Room

Stewardship Committee meets on the third Tuesday of the month
12:00 - 1:00 pm, CCC office

Trails Committee meets on the third Wednesday of the month
12:00 - 1:00 pm, CCC office

Education and Community Outreach Program Committee meets quarterly on the second Tuesday of January, April, July, and October.
7:00 - 8:30 pm, CCC office

Lands Committee meets quarterly on the third Thursday of the month.
1:00 - 2:00 pm, CCC office

Call (509) 248-5065 if you are interested in volunteering for one of these committees.


Photograph by David Hagen

Cowiche Canyon Conservancy
P.O. Box 877
Yakima, Washington 98907
Tel. (509) 248-5065
Follow Us on Facebook Support the Work of the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy