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.
Washington State Parks will use this grant to restore the rare and high-quality forest and grassland habitats in Hope Island Natural Area Preserve in Skagit County. The 176 acre Hope Island NAP is dominated by two Douglas-fir-western hemlock forest communities matrixed with a rare Pacific madrone forest community, in a mosaic of old growth and maturing second growth arising from past fires and wind events. These forests have been recognized as some of the best examples of lowland old growth forest in the Puget Trough ecoregion. Past surveys found an emerging infestation of English holly and spurge laurel, two invasive plants that threaten the integrity of the ecosystems on the island. The globally rare grassland and bald plant community around the southwest coastline is threatened by invasive plants as well as encroachment of Douglas-fir due to fire suppression. Restoration work will focus primarily on controlling invasive plants. The primary habitats to be restored are forest and grassland.