Almost 400 acres of land in the Wenatchee Foothills is now under the protection of the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust (CDLT).

The property includes the Castle Rock Natural Area and will further increase the size of the Wenatchee Foothills Trail System.

CDLT Lands Program Manager Mickey Fleming says the 398 acres is also an important area for wildlife.

"It's very much an essential area of habitat, particularly for wintering mule deer in the region."

The Land Trust has been managing 36 acres of the Castle Rock Natural Area for over a decade through a partnership with the City of Wenatchee.

Fleming says they are grateful to the owners of the newly-acquired property for both purchasing and eventually gifting it to the Land Trust.

"This is a property we've been involved with trying to make sure it would be permanently protected for quite a long time. We're extremely thankful that Betsy Beers and Frank Peryea stepped forward in the early 2000s to purchase these properties."

Beers and Peryea say they share an "emotional connection" with the land and are happy to know it will remain protected in perpetuity through the Land Trust.

The gifted land was matched by a critical habitat grant from Washington’s Wildlife and Recreation Program.

The property abuts land owned by the National Forest Service at its western edge.

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