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Policy, Practice & Procedures


Natural burial is beautiful, and a fairly simple process. White Eagle Memorial Preserve was one of the first few conservation burial grounds in the US, one of the founding members of the Conservation Burial Alliance, and certified by the Green Burial Council, a national organization representing over 300 approved providers.

Our practices are in alignment with the Conservation Burial Grounds guidelines outlined by the Green Burial Council, and designed to steward this native ecosystem.

Here is the Printable PDF of our Policy, Practices, and Procedures

Panorama of Rock Creek Canyon, with a group of people standing at its edge.

Policy, Practices, and Procedures at White Eagle Memorial Preserve

Natural Burial

  1. No embalming.

  2. Caskets made of wicker, willow, wood, cardboard or other biodegradeable materials only. No hardwoods, chemical varnishes, or stains.

  3. Shrouds made of biodegradable material can be used. This includes cotton, wool, silk, hemp, and untreated leather.

  4. No concrete vaults or grave liners of any kind.

  5. Native species that have to be removed for interment shall be replanted and nourished. Families may assist in grave plantings which must be native seed or plant stock appropriate for the location as determined by White Eagle. Families will not prune, “weed” or otherwise harm native plants on or near the grave site. No artificial flowers, vases, statues, or other manufactured decorations are allowed. Any “grace adornments” must be biodegradable, made of all natural materials, and blend in with the surrounding landscape. WEMP staff reserve the right to remove articles of adornment from the Preserve at our discretion.

  6. Families may not create a trail to the grave site or disturb surrounding landscape in anyway. In the case of large tree blow-down, staff should be notified. Picking wildflowers is prohibited.


  1. Because of our specialized grid and location system, stone markers are not required. If desired however, stone memorials may be used and must be of native stone and consistent with the geology of the site. We can provide an appropriate stone on request. Stones brought from the outside must be approved prior to placement and must be no bigger than any stone within 50 feet of the grave.

  2. In general, stones should be flat to the ground. Carvings or artwork other than names and dates must be approved by the White Eagle staff. In some cases, to create a more natural look, more than one stone can be used to create a monument, but such a marker must be pre-approved.

  3. Wood markers should be lie flat to the ground, with natural lines (no rectangles) and stained with a milk-based finish, or unstained.


Burial Sites

  1. Burial sites are 20×20 feet in size. These 400 square foot sites allow us plenty of room to determine the correct placement of the grave between existing landscape features. We will do our best to accommodate your specific wishes, yet grave placement within each deeded site is determined at the discretion of White Eagle.

  2. The 20 acres of White Eagle uses a surveyed grid system with markers along A-G and 1-11 lines, forming a network of “regions,” containing up to 36 sites. Each region has also been given the name of a plant or animal species.

  3. Site location records are maintained via hard copy files and electronic backup. Your deed will reflect your site location according to our grid system (example: A-5, Gray Fox, Site #14).

  4. In order to schedule a burial at White Eagle, you must purchase a site for the deceased or contact us regarding an existing deed, and pay the Open/Close fee. Please provide us with the following information before the time of the burial:
    – Death Certificate (which includes name of deceased, date of death, date of birth)
    – Transit Permit (from County Health Department)
    – Designated Agent for deceased
    – Time and Date of Interment
    – Funeral Establishment (if any)
    – Names of Parents or Guardians if deceased is not an adult.

  5. Only one person may be buried in each grave site. We are able to accept up to three cremated remains within each burial site, once a burial has occurred. Please see our price list for more information. Individuals wishing to be buried close to one another may purchase adjoining sites.

  6. Your Deed reflects your Right to Interment – you may transfer your site to another person. If you purchase a site for yourself but, upon death, are buried elsewhere, then your site passes to your descendants or those named in your will.

  7. Trails or temporary access lanes may traverse a corner of a burial site; they will never traverse an actual grave.

  8. In this relatively dry region, graves may take many years to settle back to the original ground level and sometimes settle unevenly. All graves will be monitored over time for the best ecological “fit” for native plants and the local environment.

  9. White Eagle Memorial Preserve can assume no liability for damage caused by acts beyond its control.

  10. White Eagle site purchases are considered goods and services by the IRS, and are therefore not tax-deductible. Donations made to our Conservation Fund, however, may be deducted.

  11. We do not refund site purchases - if your plans change, you may gift your site to our burial assistance fund, or gift or sell your site to a person of your choosing, and then please update your information with us.

White Eagle Memorial Preserve COVID-19 Practice, Policy, and Procedures Update

We are following state and federal protocol mandates during this dynamic time. There are currently no restrictions on burial services, but we are limiting burial attendees to 75 people, and asking guests to test ahead of burials, and to mask if they have been in higher risk scenarios in the days leading up to a burial.


* COVID-19  burials may involve stricter protocols including direct burial only (limited to staff with PPE).

* Pre-planning arrangements are  being done by phone and email as well as in-person visits. We are happy to take site photos to help people who would like to choose their own site remotely. People may choose to postpone picking a particular site until another time, and write TBD in the site location information on their Site Contract. We reserve the right to choose a grave place if someone has not chosen one before they die.

Inclement Weather Update

White Eagle Memorial Preserve is located in the SImcoe mountain foothills, at approximately 2500' elevation, and during the winter months it can get very snowy and we may need to suspend operations. We reserve the right to place burials and tours on hold due to weather and safety concerns.

grave mound at the edge of a meadow. Oak trees in foreground.

Cremated Remains

We are able to inter (bury) cremated remains in designated 10×10 sites. Our pricing for cremation burial includes the open/close fee, but if you would like to host a reception, we charge a $100 Hosting Fee. Please refer to our Price List for current pricing information.

Natural Organic Reduction

We are able to inter symbolic/ceremonial amounts of composted remains, but unable to accommodate the full amount (which is the equivalent of a truck bed full) for interment. We can do planting of native trees and shrubs, but do not have an irrigation system in the forest, and our summers are hot and our winters are cold and snowy, so we may not be the best fit for ceremonial plantings.

Burial Service

Burial service must be completed by 4pm to allow sufficient time to properly close the grave and remove equipment. Families may help close the grave if they wish. We will supply shovels and rakes.

  1. All funerals and vehicles will be under the supervision of White Eagle.

  2. No public assemblage without written consent of White Eagle.

  3. No more than eight vehicles will be allowed out to White Eagle for a funeral service, as the land is a very sensitive and wild area. We encourage walking and/or carpooling from the parking area at Ekone Ranch and can help support you with logistics.

  4. We ask that guest count be limited to 75 attendees at a burial - larger gatherings have a detrimental impact on the land and our facilities.

  5. Discharging of firearms during any ceremony is not allowed.

  6. White Eagle is at 2500 feet elevation. The cemetery is closed during times in winter when access is not possible due to heavy snow or mud. In regions where frozen ground and snow create serious access issues, it is a common practice to hold a body in refrigeration until weather and conditions allow. Columbia Hills Funeral home in nearby Goldendale is available for this purpose. We are glad to give you their contact information.


Due to the wild and sensitive nature of this land, and other programming happening in the Ekone Ranch valley, we request that you email or call in advance to make arrangements for a guided tour or a visit to White Eagle (206-383-3285). Upon arrival, all first time visitors must first check-in at Ekone Ranch Lodge or White Eagle cabin for an escort to the Cemetery.  We will do our best to honor requests by appointment. Visitors shall be respectful of all grave sites while walking around White Eagle, and must stay on trails when walking in the surrounding region. Pets must be kept leashed and controlled at all times.​

Ekone Lodge building with daffodils in the foreground.

Ekone's iconic lodge

White Eagle cabin in the Ekone valley.

The White Eagle cabin


  1. Sites. Please see our current Price List for information about White Eagle site costs for burial, cremation interment, and current Endowment Care Fund and Open/Close Fees.

  2. Endowment Care Fund. Washington State law requires White Eagle to collect 10% of the current price of a cemetery site at the time of purchase for the Endowment Care Fund. This fund insures the long-term care, protection and maintenance of White Eagle into the future.

  3. Opening and Closing Fees. This fee is not due until the burial is scheduled and covers the cost of grave site preparation and burial hosting.

Direct Burial vs. Family Burial

  1. Direct Burial—the deceased is brought to White Eagle with no family members present. White Eagle provides all the needed services and takes care to honor the deceased during the interment.

  2. Family Burial—We welcome family burials where family and community members participate as pallbearers and help with lowering and the closing of the grave.

  3. Family/Community may drive their loved ones body to White Eagle in a private vehicle, or work with a funeral home in your area, or connect with nearby Columbia Hills Memorial Chapel in Goldendale prior to the burial. They charge a receiving fee includes sheltering the remains in refrigeration, and then mileage for the delivery of the shrouded or casketed body to White Eagle. Other services are available as needed. We are glad to provide you with additional contact information.

White Eagle Memorial Preserve
a Natural Burial Ground at Ekone Ranch

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