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 Washington Department of Natural Resources used this grant to purchase 201.12 acres of Willamette Valley wet prairie northeast of Vancouver, the only wet prairie of that size and quality in Washington. The land supports the second largest of 20 known populations of Bradshaw’s Lomatium, a globally critically imperiled, federally-listed endangered plant species. It also contains habitat for five state sensitive plant species and the rare slender-billed white breasted nuthatch. This purchase was the second of a multi-phased and multi-agency effort to protect a larger area of wet prairie and oak woodland. Other partners in the effort included the Columbia Land Trust, Washington Nature Conservancy, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Clark County.