Policy, Practice & Procedures
Our practices are in alignment with the guidelines for conservation burial grounds established by the Green Burial Council.
Download a pdf of this page here. See what the plot deed looks like here.
- Natural Burial:
- No embalming.
- Caskets, if desired, shall be biodegradable, made of locally harvested wood or cardboard. Shrouds made of biodegradable material can be used.
- No concrete vaults or grave liners of any kind.
- Native species that have to be removed for internment 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 Memorial Preserve. Families will not prune, "weed" or otherwise harm native plants on or near the gravesite. No artificial flowers, vases, statues, or other manufactured decorations are allowed. Any “grace adornments” must be biodegradable and made of ALL natural materials.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Families may not gather rocks from other areas of the preserve. No construction of stone piles please. 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.
- Cremated Remains:
- Cremated remains can be spread in certain areas pre-approved by staff.
- Urns containing cremated remains may be placed underground on smaller sites available for this purpose.
- Burial Sites
- Burial sites are 20 x 20 feet in size, the largest of any in the nation. We believe these spacious 400 square foot sites are ideal to protect the wildness and diversity already existing in the Preserve and allow us plenty of room to determine the correct placement of the grave between existing landscape features.
- The 20 acres of White Eagle Memorial Preserve have been gridded with two-foot tall, 1/2” thick, iron markers into a network of “regions” each containing up to 36 sites. Each region has been given a name of an indigenous plant or animal species, i.e., cougar, golden eagle, lupine, dragonfly, etc.
- Location of graves will be kept in “low tech” manner via our special grid system. We will also log in GPS coordinates for each site.
- In order to schedule a burial with us you must purchase a site for the deceased unless the deceased has already purchased one. Please provide us with the following information for our records at the time of death:
- Name of deceased
- Age of deceased including birth date if know
- Date of death and Cause of death
- Time and date of interment
- If the deceased is not an adult, the names of his or her parent(s) or legal guardian(s)
- Typically, only one person may be buried in each gravesite. However, since our sites are so large, married or partnered couples who have purchased two sites, may choose to be buried close to one another, leaving the other site vacant and wild.
- You may transfer your site to another person. If you purchase a site for yourself but, upon death, are cremated or buried elsewhere, then your site passes to your descendants or those named in your will.
- Trails or temporary access lanes may traverse a corner of a burial site though will never traverse an actual grave.
- In this relatively dry region, graves may take many years to settle back to the original ground level and sometimes they will settle unevenly. All graves will be monitored over time for the best ecological “fit” for native plants and the local environment.
- White Eagle Memorial Preserve and trustees, officers, employees and agents assume no liability for damage, mental anguish, or loss caused by vandalism or other acts beyond its control.
- On occasion, the Ekone herd of horses may range across the Preserve as it is an unfenced part of a larger approximately 800 acre spring and fall range.
- Funerals must be completed by 4 p.m. so we have sufficient time to properly close the grave and remove equipment. Families may help close the grave if they wish. We will supply the shovels and rakes.
- All funerals and vehicles will be under the control of White Eagle Preserve Stewards.
- There will be no public assemblage without written consent of White Eagle Memorial Preserve.
- No more than 8 vehicles will be allowed out to the Preserve for a funeral service. Packing your cars with as many folks as possible is highly encouraged as the Preserve is a very sensitive and wild area. We are currently developing a group transport system to minimize impacts.
- Discharging of firearms during any ceremony is not allowed.
- The White Eagle Memorial Preserve is at 2500 feet elevation. There will be times in winter where access into the preserve will not be possible due to heavy snow or mud. The burial ground will be closed during these times. It is a common practice in regions where frozen ground and snow create serious access issues, to hold a body in refrigeration until weather and conditions allow. The funeral home in Goldendale near us is available for this purpose.
- Due to the wild and sensitive nature of this land, we request that you call us and make arrangements for a guided tour of White Eagle Memorial Preserve. To those whose loved one's are buried here, we are officially open for visitation during daylight hours on the first weekend of every month, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Memorial Day and the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. We will also be open on a “by appointment basis” to honor your special needs and request.
- All visitors must must check in first at the Lodge. Visitors shall be respectful of all grave sites while walking around the preserve and must stay on trails when walking in the surrounding region. Pets must be kept leashed and in control at all times.
- Each 20-ft x 20-ft gravesite sells for $2200. If you purchase two or more sites, you get a 10% discount on the second site. We encourage folks to buy sites way ahead of time and to make sure your family and caregivers have copies of the "Deed for Interment Rights" which you receive with your purchase.
- A 10% charge ($220) by law, must be collected for our Endowment Care Fund which insures the long-term care of the cemetery into the future. We can never touch the principal of this fund. Interest can be drawn by the White Eagle Memorial Preserve for various maintenance and restoration activities. To get a cemetery license in Washington State, an intial deposit $25,000 had to be made to create this fund . . . something which helps secure the long term operation of the cemetery.
- There is a $600 fee for the opening and closing of each grave.
Cremated remains buried in an urn are $500 which includes the cost of a small site. For the scattering of cremated remains along the canyon edge we ask for $250 donation.
Child burial. Since the Sacred Earth Foundation has been running camps for children for nearly 30 years, in the very sad event of the death of a child we wish to offer free burials for children under 12.
Direct Burial vs. Family Burial:
1. Definitions: A direct bural is when the remains are come to us with no family members present. A family burial is when there are at least two family members are there to assist in burail and can help carry the coffin to the grave site.
2. Remains may be delivered to the local funeral home near us in Goldendale which is a standard procedure in these maters. They charge a $1450 receiving fee, which includes holding the remains in refrigeration as long as necessary, delivery of remains to White Eagle, and extra pall bearers if necessary.
3. We welcome family burials where friends and loved ones show up with the body and help carry it in a coffin or shroud to the gravesite.
I ______________________, site owner of ______________________________, have read the aforesaid and agree to be bound by the policies
and procedures of White Eagle Memorial Preserve.
Please Print: Name Signature
White Eagle Memorial Preserve