Conserving land along our waterways protects important habitat and helps keep our rivers healthy, clean, and more resilient to drought. Riparian Protection projects conserve and restore fresh and saltwater habitat while protecting fish habitat. In doing so, the grants help provide our families, farms, and fisheries with clean water across the state.
Eatonville used this grant to acquire 128.93 acres of Riparian Protection land along the Mashel River in Eatonville and its UGA. The land is located on a stretch of river between the SR-161 and the Chehalis Western Railroad Co. Mashel River bridge at boxcar canyon. The acquisition has facilitated the preservation of a nearly continuous Riparian Protection corridor connecting the UW Pack Forest with extensive private timber lands to the east of town. The acquisition has protected extensive areas of undeveloped and largely undisturbed land within the town’s UGA which would have otherwise been developed for housing. This corridor is now preserved as and natural open space and may also be used for future trails to facilitate environmental education, wildlife viewing, and recreation. The town continues to work with the Nisqually Tribe and WSDOT on salmon habitat restoration projects along this section of the Mashel and salmon runs are improving. The town will continue to work with various entities to acquire the remaining pieces of land required to create a continuous open space corridor along both sides of the river.