The City of Wenatchee is more than doubling the size of the Saddle Rock Natural Area with a land purchase. 

It's bought 430 acres of private land from local families which expands Saddle Rock and establishes a legal route between Saddle Rock and the Jacobson Preserve. 

Chelan-Douglas Land Trust Program Manager Mickey Fleming says the city is preserving its close by foothills for nature and recreation. 

"The particular property is not in the city proper, but the city's been really quite visionary, if you will, in taking responsibility for ownership and working with the land trust in management of these lands beyond its borders," said Fleming. 

The Land Trust is matching a grant the city is getting from the state in order to pay the purchase, which is $373,000. 

The 430-acre addition borders the entire western edge of the Saddle Rock property and also connects to U.S. Forest Service land, which will help protect an important wildlife corridor. 

The grant for the purchase is coming through the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program. 

The Land Trust match is coming in the form of a land donation of 16.5 acres of the Jacobson Preserve, and through a cash contribution provided by the nonprofit's generous donors. 

The land trust says it has been working for more than 12 years to acquire the property. 

The purchase is of private land owned originally by the Neel family, and more recently by the Volkmann family. 

Fleming says the purchase fits closely with the goals of the Land Trust.  

"Over 20 years of effort has gone into developing a world class trail system and trail heads, and so forth, so that most of the people who live around here can go enjoy stewarded lands that are within 10 or 15 minutes of their home," Fleming said. 


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