Golden Paintbrush Preserve

Category Overview

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.

Project Highlights

This project will allow permanent protection and management of a 33-acre Whidbey Island property that is integral to the recovery of the golden paintbrush (Castilleja levisecta), a plant listed as federally Threatened and state Endangered. The proposed NAP is located on the west side of Whidbey Island. The site supports one of only 11 populations of golden paintbrush remaining in the world. The Recovery Plan for golden paintbrush specifies that the protection of all existing populations is critical to the recovery of the species. The owner of this site has divided the property into five waterfront view lots with the intention to sell them for residential development. If not acquired now, one of the largest properties available for recovery of golden paintbrush will be permanently lost. Through acquisition and management, this site has a high potential for meeting or exceeding federal recovery goals for the species, and will be ideal for testing restoration techniques for both golden paintbrush and the coastal prairie on which it depends. This is a collaborative project between DNR and the Whidbey Camano Land Trust (WCLT). The purchase price for the property is $2 million. DNR and WCLT have already raised $1.5 million in federal funding. The intent of this project is to acquire a conservation easement on the 33 acre site. The site will be jointly owned by WCLT and DNR and managed specifically to benefit the golden paintbrush population.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: Natural Resources Dept of Category: Natural Areas WWRP Grant: $437,556.44 Applicant Match: $0.00 Project Type: Acquisition County: Island Legislative District: 10 Status: Closed Completed RCO Project # 04-1362

Location Details

Take Mukilteo state ferry to Whidbey Island, drive North on Hwy 525. Take a right on Hwy 20 (head towards Port Townsend ferry). Go past ferry landing, you will be going North on Engle Rd. site is about 1 mile further. Park across the street from the brown wood sign "Bocker Reserve"

What is the WWRP

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) is a state grant program that creates and conserves local and state parks, wildlife habitat and working farms. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office administers WWRP grants, and the legislature funds the program.