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 Department of Natural Resources’ Natural Areas Program will use this grant to restore 220 acres of forest and wet meadow habitats through thinning, prescribed burning, invasive plant control, and planting of native vegetation in the Camas Meadows Natural Area Preserve, in Chelan County. The work will enhance habitat for the Wenatchee Mountains checkermallow, which is listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act, three rare plant species, and a variety of forest wildlife. The preserve contains the world’s largest population of the Wenatchee Mountains checkermallow and is critical to the species’ long-term survival. The preserve also supports more than 1,000 acres of dry forest habitat used by diverse populations of songbirds and raptors, as well as shoreline areas and forest openings, which provide habitat for the rare plant species. Past forest management and fire suppression have resulted in a dense forest with altered species composition, which degrades habitat quality for wildlife, impacts rare plant habitat, and puts the forest at risk for a high-intensity wildfire.