One of the less talked-about categories of WWRP, State Lands Development and Renovation is nonetheless a very important part of the program. This category provides funding to two state agencies to repair, renovate, and develop outdoor recreation facilities on existing recreation lands. As the demand for outdoor recreation opportunities continues to increase, these grants help address overcrowding, ensure our outdoor amenities are safe for public use, improve visitor experience, and allow more people to enjoy our great outdoors.
This month’s highlighted project is Yakima River Canyon Access. The Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) used this $179,757 grant to develop the Yakima River Access Site on Canyon Road, north of the cities of Yakima and Selah. WDFW created parking for 15 vehicles and a take-out area for non-motorized drift boats and rafts. Other improvements included the installation of a restroom, converting dirt roads to trails, directing travel away from sensitive riparian areas, and replanting about 600 feet of shoreline.
The Yakima River Canyon is a popular recreation area and one of the state’s best trout fisheries. As Washington’s population continues to soar and the need for outdoor recreation grows, projects like this are crucial, both for meeting the demand of residents and tourists but also for the protection of important riparian and wildlife habitat. This project benefits both anglers and boaters as well as fish and wildlife that live in the Yakima River Canyon.
The project closed in 2010.