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.
The Department of Natural Resources will use this grant to restore 110 acres of floodplain and forest habitat in the 1,461-acre Kennedy Creek Natural Area, about 10 miles from Olympia. The department will plant trees on 88 acres and control weeds on 110 acres. In addition, the department will assess, design, and permit future projects to restore 22 acres of floodplain. The previous owner had logged the forest, graded the land, and removed the stumps, and now the land is infested with nonnative weeds. This project will energize a long-awaited effort to restore the area and improve floodplain and forest habitat connectivity. The Kennedy Creek Natural Area protects estuarine habitat, including rare salt marshes, mud flats, migratory shorebird habitat, and important salmon habitat. More than half the lowland floodplain forests in the north Pacific region are estimated to have been lost, and they are considered an imperiled ecosystem.