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.
The Department of Natural Resources used this grant to buy 1045.77acres surrounding the 470-acre Klickitat Canyon Natural Resources Conservation Area to protect habitat for the rare species found there. The land is one of only three nesting, foraging, and fledging habitats in Washington for the sandhill crane, which is threatened with extinction. It also provides a vital link between similar habitat on Yakama Nation lands and the Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The land also provides unique wet meadow and talus habitats for five rare plant species as well as habitat for Mardon skipper butterflies.