The State Lands Restoration and Enhancement category provides funding to two state agencies to help repair damaged plant and animal habitat. These grants focus on resource preservation and protection of public lands. Projects in this category help bring important natural areas and resources back to their original functions by improving the self sustaining and ecological functionality of sites.
This project will augment weed control efforts at newly acquired lands on theWDFW – Elk River Unit in Grays Harbor county to facilitate development of habitats that benefit Marbled Murrelet and attract wintering waterfowl (especially Dusky Canada Goose) on 65+ acres. Both Murrelet and Dusky Canada geese occur on the WDFW Elk River Unit. However, narrow strings of 100+ year old Sitka Spruce have unrealized potential as Marbled Murrelet habitat due to surroundings of insufficient canopy height. Murrelets require nesting sites near saltwater foraging areas with a forest structure of sufficient height and depth to provide vertical and horizontal cover (as found elsewhere in this Wildlife area unit). Forest growth adjacent to small strings of individual older trees is impaired by dense growth of scotch broom. Removing the scotch broom to release existing trees and/or replant additional trees will accelerate the conversion to suitable nesting habitat for Marbled Murrelet. Some portions of the site are completely dominated by scotch broom and will require full reforestation. Fortunately, trees grow exceptionally fast in this region. Consequently, once tree regeneration overtops the maximum height of scotch broom, no further restoration actions should be required. Additional weed-control efforts will be directed to controlling invasive reed-canary grass and managing other wetland species to provide foraging and openwater habitats for SGCN Dusky Canada Goose and other waterfowl.