Cowiche/Tieton Watershed Phase 3

Category Overview

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.

Project Highlights

The Cowiche Watershed project preserves listed priority habitats and associated wildlife species, and protects and retains functional migration corridors and core wildlife habitat, and provides important winter range for deer and elk. These acquired properties were incorporated into the Cowiche Unit (5,107 acres) of the Oak Creek Wildlife Area. WDFW priority habitats found in this project area include shrub-steppe, oak woodland, aspen stands, cliffs, wetlands, and talus. This project benefits listed and priority species associated with these habitat types including golden eagle, loggerhead shrike, sage thrasher, sage sparrow, white-headed woodpecker, Lewis’ woodpecker, nuthatch spp., deer and elk. Other species that will benefit include sage grouse and western gray squirrel. This project also benefits Hover’s tauschia, a rare plant, listed by the Washington Natural Heritage Program as threatened. Public benefits include hiking and wildlife viewing which includes numerous sage-obligate wildlife species as well as excellent wildflower displays.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: Fish & Wildlife Dept of Category: Critical Habitat WWRP Grant: $571,348.19 Applicant Match: $0.00 Project Type: Acquisition County: Yakima Legislative District: 13, 14 Status: Closed Completed RCO Project # 06-1835

Location Details

From Yakima: Take Hwy 12 to 40th Avenue exit. Head south on 40th Avenue to Summitview Avenue and turn right. Drive several miles and turn left on Cowiche Mill Road. Drive approximately six miles and you will enter the southern part of the project

What is the WWRP

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) is a state grant program that creates and conserves local and state parks, wildlife habitat and working farms. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office administers WWRP grants, and the legislature funds the program.