The State Lands Restoration and Enhancement category provides funding to two state agencies to help repair damaged plant and animal habitat. These grants focus on resource preservation and protection of public lands. Projects in this category help bring important natural areas and resources back to their original functions by improving the self sustaining and ecological functionality of sites.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) used this grant funding to enhance riparian habitat along approximately 3.1 miles of Bear Creek within WDFW’s Mt. St. Helens Wildlife Area in Cowlitz County. The basic strategies were to control invasive species and increase structural diversity by establishing tree cover where it was not already present, selectively augmenting the shrub layer, and introducing conifers to increase diversity. Listed Coho and steelhead are the primary species benefiting from this project but elk winter range conditions was also be enhanced. Other species that are likely to use the site include western toad, northern alligator lizard, and yellow-rumped warbler.