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.
With this grant, Thurston County purchased 211 (210.97) acres of intact and highly complex Riparian Protection and wetland habitat through a fee simple acquisition along the Black River and a major tributary, Mima Creek. The Black River wetland and Riparian Protection habitats make up one of the largest, undisturbed, freshwater wetland systems remaining in Puget Sound. The river’s diverse habitats include three priority habitats: Prairie oak woodlands, sphagnum bogs, and wet prairies. The majority of habitat is a rare wetland habitat type, unique to the Black River. The project also protects a prime corridor used by elk, deer, and bear and will provide habitat for at-risk salmon species and the Oregon spotted frog. Finally, public access is provided through a pedestrian access easement along the Mima Creek buffer from the Gate to Belmore trail.