Habitat Management

Chelan PUD owns properties that are managed for a variety of uses, including wildlife habitat. Many areas are managed for both wildlife habitat and public access.

Home Water Wildlife Preserve

In the heart of the Sage Hills trail system West of Wenatchee lies a 960-acre upland area known as the Home Water Wildlife Preserve. This property was acquired by Chelan PUD and is managed as mule deer winter habitat as required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  Chelan PUD coordinates with the City of Wenatchee, CDLT, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to coordinate seasonal area closures to protect wintering wildlife, consolidate trails, and restore habitat within the Sage Hills area.

Wenatchee Confluence Horan Nature Area

The Horan orchard homestead area was acquired in the early 1990's as a recreational license requirement resulting from operation of Rock Island Dam.  Instead of developing the area into ball fields and tennis courts, a new idea was formed for the park—a natural area for wildlife and people to enjoy.  A technique called level ditching created a maze of channels and islands for wildlife.  Viewpoints, signs, and benches can be found along a gravel trail which connects to the Apple Capital Recreational Loop trail.

Invasive Plant Management

Chelan PUD’s noxious weed control program uses a combination of chemical, biological, mechanical, and cultural methods. This effort complies with state and county noxious weed laws and ordinances. Management and control of noxious weeds increases aesthetic values and ensures functional fish and wildlife habitat for future generations.

Rare and sensitive plants

Chelan PUD monitors populations of rare, sensitive, threatened, and endangered plants to determine their abundance and distribution along reservoirs and other properties in accordance with license requirements.


Fast facts:

  • All of CDLT and PUD lands north of 5th Street are closed from December 1 to March 31 each year to allow wintering wildlife a sanctuary during the winter months.
  • One trail passing through the Home Water Preserve is permitted and is licensed to the City of Wenatchee.  The trail system is administered by the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust (CDLT), which also manages surrounding properties and additional trails in the Sage Hills.
  • The Horan Nature Area is celebrated as a birding hotspot and is used widely by educators in our region to teach aspects of biological and natural sciences.
Re-aligning and closing redundant trail sections in the Sage Hills helps to reduce habitat fragmentation, combat the spread of weeds, and reduce erosion. Post-construction seeding on the flanks of Burch Mountain in 2006.  Today, this site supports abundant native vegetation. Where possible, Chelan PUD utilizes biological controls such as these flower weevils to reduce the density of invasive weeds. Pre- and post- construction vegetation monitoring helps Chelan PUD be a good steward of the land, returning it to native landscape following construction projects. Chelan PUD conducts botanical surveys to monitor sensitive habitats, including rare native orchids like these.