Lewis And Clark National Historical Park
Spring at Fort Clatsop. Photo courtesy National Park Service
In 2003, in honor of the bicentennial celebration of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Fund embarked on a major campaign to commemorate this legendary journey by protecting open space, river corridors and resources associated with the passage. Through our Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Initiative, we have helped conserve more than 25,000 acres along the famous route. This includes adding land to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park in Oregon and Washington.
Our first efforts to expand the park started back in 2004 when we purchased more than 920 acres from Weyerhaeuser. Designated one of the nation’s top conservation priorities by the National Park Service, the property includes land critical to the construction of the Fort to Sea Trail, which will connect the Fort Clatsop National Memorial to Sunset Beach State Recreation Area and the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
Then in 2005, thanks in part to support from the Centex Land Legacy Fund, we protected more than 1,000 acres for addition to the park. This effort included land critical to the Fort to Sea Trail and Clark’s Dismal Nitch. Dismal Nitch marks Lewis and Clark’s dramatic arrival at the Pacific Ocean. In 1805, the Corps of Volunteers for Northwest Discovery spent six days trapped along the rocky shoreline near the mouth of the Columbia River. Members of the Corps battled thunderstorms, wind and high waves before they abandoned most of their supplies, buried their canoes and sought shelter in the cedar forest.
With the establishment and expansion of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, the public can learn about this important period in America’s history right where it happened.