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 for acquisition of high priority properties within two coastal Natural Area Preserves that include the Bone and Niawiakum Rivers. These coastal wetlands and estuary ecosystems are the highest quality examples remaining of native coastal salt marsh communities. The superb wetlands of the Bone River and Niawiakum River preserves are recognized as national priorities for protection, as evidenced by past and current USFWS grants awarded for coastal wetland acquisition at both sites. It is critical to secure additional funding to pursue acquisition of the remaining undeveloped lands, which are threatened with conversion to incompatible and/or ecologically irreversible uses, such as residential development.