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.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife will use this grant to buy 88.5 acres in the Chehalis floodplain south of Elma. The purchase will expand the department’s Chehalis Wildlife Area and provide opportunities for fishing, waterfowl hunting, big game hunting, and wildlife viewing. It also will provide connections to Vance Creek County Park. Managed to produce hardwood timber, the area includes about 10 acres of freshwater wetlands and a portion of Vance Creek. The land would expand protected habitat for amphibians, Neo-tropical birds, waterfowl, deer, elk, and potentially yellow-billed cuckoo, which surveyors recorded in the area. A slough provides habitat for young salmon, which use Vance Creek when migrating. The department will remove invasive plants and manage the forest to promote old-growth trees.