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.
Golden Doe project protects 110 acres of sagebrush-steppe and grasslands surrounded by the Golden Doe Unit of the Methow Wildlife Area. The property supports large, year-round populations and seasonal concentrations of mule deer as well as black bears, coyotes, golden eagles and numerous sagebrush-obligate species. The potential for development here is high. If left unprotected, this area could see significant conversion of disappearing sagebrush-steppe and irrigated farmland. Numerous small parcels bordering DFW lands would be expected. The property provides opportunities to implement restoration throughout the property to increase functionality and resiliency. Over time, impacted habitat will be restored using both passive and intensive restoration. The Golden Doe Unit has little public access. This acquisition would provide much safer and improved access to the area. By directing the public to developed facilities and opportunities, users are less likely to impact the areas habitat and mule deer populations.