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Clearwater Riparian Protection Project
- Funded in 2011
The Nature Conservancy will use this grant to buy 1,114 acres, including more than 648 acres of riparian forest and wetland habitat along the Queets and Clearwater Rivers on the Olympic peninsula. These two rivers support some of the healthiest, most viable, and genetically diverse salmon populations in the lower 48 states, making them an essential anchor for the conservation of salmon ecosystems and biological diversity on the Washington coast. The rivers drain an area of more than 287,383 acres and are home to wild populations of Chinook, coho, chum, pink, and sockeye salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat and bull trout. The rivers and the forests along them also support other important animals, such as the Pacific lampreys, Olympic mudminnows, marbled murrelets, and bald eagles. This purchase is the first phase of a multi-year project to create a system of protected riparian forest habitat from the headwaters of the Clearwater to its confluence with the Queets. The purchase will address the two most significant habitat threats to these river systems: ongoing logging and development. The project protects a complex of riparian habitat, including mature, low-elevation Sitka spruce forest in the valley-bottom floodplain. The Nature Conservancy will contribute $1.4 million in cash donations.
What is the WWRP?
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) is a state grant program that creates and conserves local and state parks, wildlife habitat and working farms. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office administers WWRP grants, and the legislature funds the program.