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March 25, 2013

Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust Acquires High Priority Habitat for California’s North Coast Wildlife

The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust is pleased to be selected by the Thelma Doelger Animal and Wildlife Preserve Trust to permanently protect an extraordinary 1,122-acre wilderness property in Sonoma County, Calif. Still truly wild, the land’s nearly pristine habitats provide essential food, cover and places to raise young for an estimated 160 wildlife species.

Robert Koons, HSWLT executive director said: “It’s an honor and an exciting opportunity. The biodiversity on this land is exceptional. In fact, it’s one of the highest priority areas for conservation in the region because of its diversity of rare species, the quality and variety of its habitats and the connectivity it provides for wildlife across the broader landscape. The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust is delighted to carry forward Thelma Doelger’s compassionate vision, and we are deeply grateful to both her and the Trustees for the opportunity to be responsible for protecting this significant landscape and all of its wildlife.”

Originally used as a family retreat, the property also became a sanctuary for primates formerly used in research. Thelma Doelger took the primates in and provided safe, healthy housing and caregivers for them, expressly to ensure they would have a peaceful life and humane care for their remaining years.

The Thelma Doelger Wildlife Preserve and Sanctuary permanently protects land and wildlife, keeping in line with Thelma Doelger’s wishes for the property and its wild inhabitants. Located in the southern extension of the Pacific Northwest’s temperate rainforests, the land has spectacular views of Buck Knoll Ridge to the north and Marble Mine Ridge to the south. It is bisected by Grey Creek, a free-flowing perennial stream that provides critical habitat for the Foothill yellow-legged frog and steelhead trout.

Mature forests, including redwoods, oak woodland, Douglas fir and tanoak forests, cover nearly 90 percent of the sanctuary, with grasslands and mixed chaparral comprising the rest. Portions of the property provide habitat for the Northern spotted owl and marbled murrelet, both listed as a threatened species under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust intends to provide a permanent sanctuary for wild animals to live free of direct, human-caused persecution and habitat destruction and to conserve the ecological integrity and connectivity of the land for wildlife throughout the Thelma Doelger Wildlife Preserve and Sanctuary.

Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 301-721-6463; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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