As Washington continues to grow, many of our most beautiful areas are threatened with development. In addition, native ecosystems are receding, and important wildlife habitat and migratory pathways are being cut off. The Natural Areas category helps combat this by funding projects that protect wildlife habitat and rare geological features while also preserving public access for back-country recreation.
This proposal is to acquire critical properties within nine high priority natural area preserve sites in the arid zone of eastern Washington. Sites include: Cleveland Shrub-Steppe, Entiat Slopes, Columbia Hills Addition, Pinecroft, Davis Canyon, Horse Heaven Hills. Dyer Haystacks, and 2-Steppe. This is a region of the state where less than one percent of the land base receives any protection and well over half the land has been permanently converted to agricultural uses. These arid lands contain the highest quality examples of native plant communities and rare plant sites in the state. They also provide important wildlife habitat, including critical riparian areas.