This month, we focus our attention on the Critical Habitat category of WWRP.
Critical Habitat projects are our state’s primary tool for conserving important fish and wildlife habitat. These projects protect the rich and diverse habitats in our forests, prairies, and wetlands. These funds help maintain our state’s biodiversity and protect species that are popular for hunting, birding, and other outdoor recreation, and are critical for the health of our salmon and fish populations.
The Critical Habitat project we have chosen to highlight this month is Cashmere Canyons Preserve, which is a proposed project outside of Cashmere in Central Washington.
Coalition member Chelan-Douglas Land Trust would use this $977,426 grant to preserve over 2,000 acres outside Cashmere. This new preserve will protect wildlife habitat for Rocky Mountain mule deer and mule deer wintering range. The land trust will also develop a trailhead and trails that connect to an area trail network.
According to the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, Cashmere Canyon Preserve is “a stunning landscape of expansive views, carpets of wildflowers, and sweeping views from the Columbia River to the high Cascades.” Its large size and connectivity to nearby public lands will give wildlife the ability to move freely. This connectivity as well as the land’s diverse ecologic systems is also important for climate resiliency.
The land trust worked with private landowners to purchase conservation easements, which means the land will stay in private ownership. Trailhead and trail development made possible by the WWRP grant will allow the public to enjoy hiking and other recreational activities on the land.
The Cashmere Canyons Preserve project has been funded in the proposed House and Senate capital construction budgets, which were released last week. There is still time to tell the Legislature to increase funding for the WWRP, so that more projects like this can be made possible! Please visit our Take Action page for more information.