Cascade Land Conservancy Changes Name To Forterra, Expands Its Mission

Responding to the growth and evolution of the organization, Cascade Land Conservancy—one of Washington’s leading land conservation organizations—announced last night that it has changed its name to Forterra. “This name change is a testament to our organization’s continued dedication to the region,” said Forterra President Gene Duvernoy. “Forterra represents our holistic approach to land conservation, which recognizes that healthy lands, great communities and strong economies are all equally necessary to create a sustainable region.”

The name Forterra was chosen among hundreds of suggestions from staff, board members, constituents and supporters. Nationally renowned branding firm Hornall Anderson guided the organization through the process, gratis.


“When I was introduced to Cascade Land Conservancy’s work I was immediately impressed by their collaborative approach and was enthusiastic about helping them find a name that matched their reputation and work,” said Hornall Anderson co-Founder and CEO Jack Anderson. “Simply stated, Forterra means they are for the earth. It is an open vessel that allows them to continue to adapt to the needs of the community and effectively advance their important and broad mission.”


Since Forterra’s foundation in 1989, the organization has conserved more than 173,000 acres of rural and working land. In recent years, Forterra’s work as a traditional land trust rooted in the Cascades has grown significantly to include conservation work on the Olympic Peninsula and cutting-edge conservation techniques that merge urban policy with land conservation.


In 2005, the organization’s programmatic scope saw a marked expansion with the creation of the Cascade Agenda—a long-range, regional vision and action plan. The Agenda broke ground by recognizing cities’ critical role in land conservation.  It hinges on the fact that attractive, affordable, livable cities with thriving economies help conserve land by providing an alternative to the development of low-density, sprawling communities on our dwindling wild and working rural lands. Forterra has helped build community gardens, pushed Complete Streets initiatives and transit-oriented development plans, provided smart-growth technical assistance and more in cities around the region.


In the following years, Forterra expanded their conservation efforts to Mason County, quickly recognizing that a regional vision for the entire Olympic Peninsula was necessary to have a significant impact and thus began the creation of the Olympic Agenda.


“With policy work entering the cities and conservation work reaching across the state, we as an organization noted the need to change,” said Forterra Board Chair Peter Orser. “Forterra better encompasses all the work we’re doing and leaves us room to continue evolving to serve the needs of this dynamic region.”

That need for change is evidenced by many of Forterra’s recent major projects and initiatives. They include:


  • Landscape Conservation and Local Infrastructure Program: Forterra championed the Landscape Conservation and Local Infrastructure Program in the 2011 state legislative session. Signed into law in May, the program combines the Transfer of Development Rights conservation tool with Tax Increment Financing. The game-changing law allows landowners to realize the development value of their land while cities get the often-scarce financing they need for revitalization projects.
  • The Olympic Agenda: Built on the success of the Cascade Agenda, Forterra began its Olympic Agenda in 2008. Like the Cascade Agenda, the Olympic Agenda recognizes that compact, sustainable communities with thriving economies are necessary for successful land conservation. Forterra kicked off the Olympic Agenda by holding hundreds of community conversations and interviews at which community members, business leaders, elected officials and others provided their input on what they needed for a sustainable Peninsula.
  • Port Gamble Bay project: Forterra and the Olympic Property Group recently announced the option agreement they reached that could lead to the conservation of 7,000 acres of forestland and shoreline in North Kitsap County.  The purchase agreement gives Forterra and its partners 18 months to raise the funding necessary for the purchase of the land around Port Gamble, which has significant environmental, historical and economic value for wildlife, the Port Gamble S’Klallam and Suquamish tribes and the Port Gamble Community.