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.
This project seeks to acquire, via fee title up to 416 acres. The site is mostly floodplain habitat along the Chehalis River in Grays Harbor County near the town of Oakville. This project encompasses multiple tax parcels on 4 ownerships and will use a phased approach to expand protections around WDFW’s Davis Creek Wildlife Area Unit. The site is perfectly positioned as a nexus for two habitat corridors: First, it provides riparian habitat and riverbank connectivity to conservation lands both upstream and downstream. Second, it provides a permanent and near continuous north-south link between two large blocks of upland habitat on public lands located in Capitol State Forest and the Lower Chehalis State Forest. Riparian and floodplain habitats at the site are mixed with remnant Oak Woodland and historic prairie habitats. Adjacent lands are known to support waterfowl, elk, beaver, salmonids plus, SGCN listed band-tailed pigeon, wood ducks, and endemic Olympic Mudminnow. Opportunities for restoration include: reforesting riparian corridors, placing large woody debris within the Chehalis river mainstem and off-channel habitats, restoration of upland oak habitats. If fully successful, approximately 4 miles of Chehalis riverbank will be protected and connected to functional riparian habitat (including off-channel and wetland habitats) that extends another 1.2 miles downstream from the project area and 1 mile upstream (to the bridge).