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.
This Dungeness River Match project protects 0.7 miles and 13.9 acres of the Riparian Protection forest along the lower Dungeness River. This proposal supports a multiple partner effort to protect and restore Dungeness River Riparian Protection habitat. The River Restoration Work Group has identified the project as the highest priority for acquisition. Five Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Priority Habitats exist in the area composed of floodplain, open channel, Riparian Protection forest, and open space. Three ESA listed threatened fish species utilize the mainstem and side channel habitat, including side channels documented as the most productive chinook habitat in the entire lower river. One hundred thirteen bird species have been recorded in this area, twelve of which have special species status. The forest provides forage and roosting habitat for bat species with three bat species with special status likely to occur in the area. Much adjacent land is publicly owned or in private conservation protection including the Dungeness River Audubon Center, a park and natural history education center. This project’s success will be the keystone for expanding the Center as well as a vital Riparian Protection link between the protected headwaters and the mouth, a wildlife refuge area.