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 goal of this project was to restore meadow and dry forest habitat within the Klickitat Canyon Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA) to benefit three priority plant and animal species. This project improved habitat for the mardon skipper, enhanced foraging conditions for Sandhill crane, and reduced the threat of invasive plants within the meadow. This is a summary of the work that was conducted under this project. Meadow Restoration (11 acres): Site preparation: Roundup herbicide was applied to areas that contain various nonnative grasses and forbs north of the wetland and around the old cabin. Milestone herbicide was applied to select areas to treat certain broadleaf species, while Fusilade herbicide was applied to treat the nonnative grass such as oatgrass, cheat grass and reed canary grass. Three treatments were conducted in total. Seeding/ Planting: Select areas in the main meadow that had been treated with herbicide were seeded with native grass seed purchased locally. The seed was broadcast with an ATV and spreader, followed behind with a harrow. Approximately 1,800 forb and grass plugs were grown and planted in select areas. The 10 cubic inch plugs were grown by a local nursery from seed collected on site. Post seeding treatments: Select nonnative forbs were treated in the seeded areas to improve native grass and forb seed establishment. Forest Restoration (40- 75 acres): Thinning: Small diameter trees were cut in the forested areas around the meadow and cabin. Larger trees were pruned. Small trees were thinned in the upland meadow east of the wetland that had previously been logged. Nonnative species removal: All nonnative species found in the old landings and roads were treated with herbicide or manually pulled throughout the upland area. Select areas of oatgrass were treated with Fusilade, a grass specific herbicide. Burning: All slash from the thinning project was piled and burned in the late fall. Seeding: Areas were the slash was burned were seeded by hand with native grass and forb seed. Diversion Removal: A small water diversion found in the northern portion of the NRCA was removed and the area contoured to allow water to flow freely into deer creek. This allowed more water to enter deer creek wetland particularly during the spring when Sandhill cranes are nesting.