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 Department of Fish and Wildlife will use this grant to buy 4,480 acres of shrub-steppe, oak-ponderosa pine woodland, and streambank habitat, protecting more than 7 miles of Cowiche Creek for steelhead. The land includes winter range for deer and elk, falls within the migration zone for the largest elk herd in Washington State, and supports nearly 70 species of butterfly, estimated to be the highest diversity of butterfly species in Washington. The oak habitat supports numerous cavity nesting bird species, western gray squirrels, and Lewis’s woodpeckers. Outdoor recreation opportunities include hiking, fishing, birding, hunting, camping, wildlife viewing, and outdoor photography.