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 Department of Fish and Wildlife will use this grant to complete silvicultural treatments on about 1,707 acres within the Methow Wildlife Area (MWA). Decades of fires suppression on the site have allowed a thick layer of forest plant materials to build up on the forest floor, leading to severe fires over the past several years. These severe fires contribute to a high degree of tree mortality and a loss of understory vegetation. Prescribed fires, manual tree removal and other treatments are expected to reduce the risk of high severity fires, improve the overall forest health and structure, improve wildlife habitat, and create forest habitat resilience to future disturbance so as to maintain the quality of WDFW wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities. The MWA is located primarily north of the Town of Winthrop in Okanogan County.