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 will use this grant to buy about 315 acres in the Lacamas Prairie Natural Area. The land includes about 63 acres of riverbank habitat, 21 acres of wetlands, and 231 acres of uplands. The Willamette Valley wet prairie, which includes the Lacamas Prairie Natural Area, represents the only example of its size and quality in Washington. Threatened by habitat destruction in one of the state’s most rapidly urbanizing counties, the land contains habitat for five state sensitive plant species and one rare animal species. The land also supports the second largest of 20 known populations of Bradshaw’s lomatium, a globally critically imperiled, federally listed endangered plant species.