The Vancouver Land Bridge site was rich with biodiversity prior to settlers’ advancement. Seated on a floodplain near Mt. St Helens, it was home to savanna, hardwood forest, and prairie. Today it is home to Ft Vancouver.
Botanist David Douglas spent two years traveling the West, surveying plants and animals from Fort Vancouver to Canada, the Rocky Mountains, and Santa Barbara. He advised the Hudson’s Bay Company on planting practices.
The Chinookan and Klickitat words for the area now near the Confluence Land Bridge mean “land of the mud turtles.” Both the Western Pond (Mud) Turtle and the Burrowing Owl have disappeared from their native habitats.
Dogs were important animals to many tribes in the Columbia Basin, for many purposes including hunting, protection, fur, and food. Many early explorers also brought dogs, such as Clark’s Seaman and Douglas’s Billy.