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.
Under this grant, WDFW acquired approximately 298 acres of Merrill Lake in Phase 1 on December 29, 2015. WDFW also purchased 83 acres of Merrill Lake in Phase 2. With Phase 2 acres purchased with RCO 12-1135, Phase 2 totaled 1,015.44 acres and was fully acquired on December 15, 2016. This purchase brought the total acreage purchased in all phases to approximately 1,447.7 acres (with 26.77 acres of Phase 3 donated by the Rocky Elk Mountain Foundation). Approved amendments to this project agreement included: 1) An amendment for a time extension from December 31, 2017 to October 1, 2018 2) Adding Merrill Lake Phase 2 property 3) Changing the agreement description 4) Cost change of project to $2,490,217.37 Cultural Resource work was completed and indicates that no adverse effects were anticipated as a result of the acquisition and post-closing activities funded under this grant. Ground disturbing work was completed without encountering any unanticipated discoveries of cultural materials or human remains. Through this grant, WDFW – Built 3 new gates for Phase 1 and Phase 2 – Treated 2 acres of noxious weeds in Phase 1 and Phase 2 due to not a lot of weeds on the property – Posted 6 RCO signs and many WDFW boundary and regulation signs (e.g No Camping, No Off-road Vehicles, etc.)