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.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife will use this grant to buy about 400 acres of sagebrush-steppe habitat on Hunter Mountain near the town of Methow in the lower Methow Valley. The land also includes stream bank and ponderosa pine-Douglas fir sites used by several species of concern including Lewis and pileated woodpeckers. Conserving the land will protect and enhance critical habitat for wintering mule deer and other animals dependent on sagebrush. Protecting the land from development will bolster the north-south wildlife corridor connecting state and federal lands used by a variety of animals. These lands are popular for hunting, hiking, and wildlife watching and conserving them will provide a better experience and make it easier to access bordering public lands.