Keta Legacy Foundation

A nonprofit organization

$800 raised by 10 donors

16% complete

$5,000 Goal


Our mission is to promote actions and foster understanding to inspire conservation from the Rhododendron Preserve to the Salish Sea region.

Our Vision: People Connecting with and Protecting Healthy Ecosystems


Since our founding in 1968, the Keta Legacy Foundation, has worked to connect people to wild places and protect the habitat, mountains, water and natural history of the Salish Sea region and beyond.

Thanks to the support of our many generous donors, The Foundation is able to promote wild places and sustainable practices through four important programs:

- We proudly steward, preserve, and restore the beautiful 466-acre Rhododendron Preserve on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State.
- We work with local schools and community members to offer educational opportunities at The Preserve.
- We work with donors to acquire land and increase conservation efforts at The Preserve and throughout the Salish Sea region.
- We also offer a competitive grant program that benefits other qualifying conservation-focused and environmental education focused non-profit organizations.

We operate with an all-volunteer board and have a rich history of working with amazing donors. As of 2019, we manage all of our funds in a fossil-fuel-free social investment fund. Together, we reached our 50 year milestone as a registered 501(c)(3) organization in 2018. Thank you!

In 2018, we added the name Keta Legacy Foundation to the Mountaineers Foundation name to reinforce our cour values. Keta is the Latin name for chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta). This simple word - keta - honors our unique role in creating an environmental legacy for future generations by conserving forests, streams, the marine environment, and the communities that depend on them.


Major Outcome:

November 15, 2021
At a time when experts say salmon in the Pacific Northwest are "teetering on the brink of extinction," local and regional salmon preservation efforts have taken on new urgency. A recent land sale by Ueland Tree Farm adds 40 new acres to the now 466-acre RhododendronPreserve located in Kitsap County. The Preserve is home to the region's largest chum salmon run. Annually it supports tens of thousands of chum and coho salmon, as well as steelhead and cutthroat trout.

Keta Legacy Foundation,  owns the Preserve. The nonprofit organization has been acquiring land since 1986 to promote stewardship of the Chico Creek watershed and its miles of salmon-spawning habitat. The Preserve started as just 74 acres but has grown over the years.
"For nearly 40 years, the Foundation has been working with surrounding landowners so that we can improve our ability to protect salmon habitat and keep the region's forests and waters healthy," said Jeff Wirtz, the Foundation's president. "UTF has been an incredible partner and shares our strong desire to promote stewardship and conservation. They see the need to protect this land for salmon, especially as development pressures increase in Kitsap County."

"As two of the largest landowners in the Chico Creek basin, UTF is fortunate to partner with the Foundation to help protect the Chico Creek watershed and its wonderful salmon run," said Craig Ueland, managing member of UTF. "The Foundation and its many benefactors deserve our heartfelt thanks for their leadership in preserving this wonderful ecosystem for future generations."

The Foundation and UTF have a long partnership that dates to 2009 when they worked together to create a conservation easement on 100 acres of the tree farm near Chico and Lost Creeks. UTF sold 69 acres of land near Chico Creek to the Foundation in 2012, thanks to grant funding from the Suquamish Tribe, and another 37 acres in 2018 with funds provided to the Foundation by generous donors.

"The health of Chico Bay and Dyes Inlet are of crucial importance for the Suquamish Tribe," said Rob Purser, director of the Tribe's Fisheries and Natural Resources Division. "The Foundation land purchase will help protect salmon habitat in one of our most important watersheds. Tribal and non-Tribal fisheries, Southern Resident Killer Whales, and the Salish Sea ecosystem can only benefit."

"These land purchases allow us to create a healthy forest buffer that protects the streams and habitat within the Preserve and Chico Creek watershed," Wirtz said. "We're seeing every day how interconnected our natural systems are. What we do locally to protect our salmon has far-reaching impacts throughout the Salish Sea region."

Visitors to the Preserve can hike Big Tree Trail to see Kitsap County's largest publicly-accessible Douglas Fir. The trail also provides salmon viewing opportunities this month as the salmon return for the fall spawning season.

Giving Activity

Organization Data


Organization name

Keta Legacy Foundation

Tax id (EIN)





Youth & Children, Asian & Pacific Islander, Black & African American, Hispanic & Latinx, Immigrants & Refugees, Indigenous & Native American, Individuals with Disabilities, LGBTQ+, Low-Income, Seniors, Veterans


P.O. Box 5749
Bremerton, WA 98312

Service areas

Seattle, WA, US

Kitsap County, WA, US

Bremerton, WA, US



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