Conserving land along our waterways protects important habitat and helps keep our rivers healthy, clean, and more resilient to drought. Riparian Protection projects conserve and restore fresh and saltwater habitat while protecting fish habitat. In doing so, the grants help provide our families, farms, and fisheries with clean water across the state.
This month’s feature project is the Skookum Creek Conservation acquisition located on the ancestral lands of the Squaxin and Coast Salish people. The Squaxin Island Tribe will re-acquire fee simple ownership of a total of 649 acres and 8.4 miles of stream, including 4 miles of mainstem Skookum Creek. The acquisition consists of four contiguous properties in the Skookum Valley that include 347 acres of riparian, 213 acres of wetlands, and 89 acres of forest. After acquisition, 68% of all streams and 77% of mainstem Skookum Creek will be in conservation or long-term forestry. This project will protect habitat for coho, chum, ESA listed steelhead and, cutthroat trout.