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PNL and The Nature Conservancy join forces to study Washington state lands

News Release

October 23, 1995 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — Pacific Northwest Laboratory and The Nature Conservancy of Washington have signed an agreement to cooperate in the studies of plant and animal life on federal lands throughout the state. Their first project will be at the Department of Energy's Hanford Site, home to one of the last native sagebrush grasslands in Washington. In addition to Hanford, PNL and the Conservancy may work together on projects at the Yakima Training Center, the Fort Lewis Air Force Base and the Olympic Peninsula.

Under a memorandum of participation, PNL and the Conservancy plan to participate in research, land protection and sustainable development projects. Sustainable development describes the process of finding a balance between economic and environmental strategies.

"The memorandum demonstrates PNL's commitment to environmental issues that are important to the people of Washington and the Northwest," said Michael Graham, Battelle senior manager. "This agreement between The Nature Conservancy of Washington and PNL is good news for Washington state," said Elliot Marks, executive director of The Nature Conservancy of Washington.

"With our scientists teaming together, we will make significant progress in studying the biodiversity that makes up the vast natural treasures we have in the state. Our work will pay dividends for future generations of humans and wildlife."

At Hanford, PNL and The Nature Conservancy will conduct inventories of native species and natural communities. The Hanford Site contains some of the largest remaining examples of native Columbia Basin grasslands, shrublands and riparian areas. In fact, so little of these habitats remain that many of the native plant and animal species and plant communities dependent on them are threatened with extinction.

The Olympic Peninsula is also of particular interest to PNL and the Conservancy for study and protection. "It's a place where the most pressing environmental issues collide. The Olympic Peninsula is dealing with endangered species, logging and fisheries," said Graham.

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