Critical Habitat projects are our state’s primary tool for conserving important fish and wildlife habitat. These projects protect the rich and diverse habitats in our forests, prairies, and wetlands. These funds help maintain our state’s biodiversity and protect species that are popular for hunting, birding, and other outdoor recreation, and are critical for the health of our salmon and fish populations.
The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust will use this grant to buy a voluntary land preservation agreement, also called a conservation easement, on 600 acres of high-quality wildlife habitat near Wenatchee on Chafey Mountain. The land has been owned by the same family for more than 100 years, and the family is committed to protecting this unique property from the development that has spread into the canyons and foothills just outside Wenatchee and bordering this property in recent decades. Three sides of Chafey Mountain border land already protected from development, and this purchase would add corridors for animals to move to the larger protected lands. Habitat on the land includes stream bank, shrub steppe, and mixed conifer forests, and actively supports a healthy mule deer population, golden eagles, and migratory songbirds, as well as many others. The land trust is donating an additional 21 acres in the same canyon as part of this grant. Both properties also protect important viewsheds that enhance the recreational experience for users of local popular trail systems. The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust will contribute $609,450 in donations of cash and land or property interest.