Scenic USA - Washington
Quincy Wildlife Area
|Photos by Eric Noel
Eric's Ancient Lake Gallery
Spewing from large fissures in the earth’s crust, Columbia River basalt blanketed nearly 80,000 square miles in the American Northwest nearly 17 million years ago. Covering the
majority of eastern Washington, and parts of Montana, Idaho and Oregon, this lava field measures nearly a half mile thick. Some of the notable areas of this mammoth slab of basalt lie in Washington’s Quincy Wildlife Area. Here in this arid side of the state, erosion has stripped away topsoil, exposing a land of towering cliffs and mesas, benches, coulees and huge potholes. The 15,000 acre Quincy Lakes Unit is covered in with shrub-steppe vegetation. Common sage, bluebunch, and wheatgrass do little to hide these striking geologic features.
The Ancient Lakes and Dusty Lake areas, located among the canyons of Quincy Wildlife Area, provide plenty of wide open spaces for exploration. In his wanderings, Eric found the Ancient Lakes preserve lying between two imposing mesas, accentuated by a collection of pothole lakes. Several Waterfalls break the silence of this immense natural area.
Today, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife manages over a million acres of wildlife areas. With its mission statement to "preserve, protect and perpetuate the state’s wildlife species", the agency plays a critical role in maintaining this natural heritage land.
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