As Washington continues to grow, many of our most beautiful areas are threatened with development. In addition, native ecosystems are receding, and important wildlife habitat and migratory pathways are being cut off. The Natural Areas category helps combat this by funding projects that protect wildlife habitat and rare geological features while also preserving public access for back-country recreation.
The Department of Natural Resources intended to use this project to acquire property within the Dyer Haystacks and Two Steppe NAPs located in northern Douglas County. Lands proposed for acquisition provide habitat for federal and state listed species: sharp-tail grouse and sage grouse (federal species of concern and state threatened); sage sparrow, sage thrasher and golden eagle (state candidate species.) This project was coordinated with the State Department of Fish and Wildlife efforts to restore habitat for the listed species in Douglas County, and would have provided native habitat and a baseline for restoration and management monitoring. However, the properties were not acquired as the landowners declined offers made for the properties.