Methow Rapids NAP

Category Overview

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.

Project Highlights

Recent inventories have documented that over one-half of the state’s shrub-steppe habitat has been lost and that much of the remaining shrub-steppe has been degraded. There is a well-documented urgent need for protection of intact shrub-steppe habitat in Washington, and in particular for locating and protecting the remaining excellent examples. Methow Rapids Natural Area Preserve (NAP), located along the Columbia River in southwestern Okanogan County, supports outstanding examples of two shrub-steppe communities that are among the least-protected and most limited in extent within the state: smooth sumac/bluebunch wheatgrass and antelope bitterbrush/bluebunch wheatgrass. Historically, these communities were most extensive in the Okanogan Valley and along portions of the Snake and Columbia Rivers. Intact examples of these communities are now very limited due to historic overgrazing, as well as expanding agricultural and residential development. This project expanded the existing NAP to include additional areas of these plant communities, which are classified by the Natural Heritage Program as Priority 1 and Priority 2, respectively. This project has added to the statewide protection of these communities and enhanced the long-term viability of the site.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: Natural Resources Dept of Category: Natural Areas WWRP Grant: $329,167.48 Applicant Match: $0.00 Project Type: Acquisition County: Okanogan Legislative District: 7 Status: Closed Completed RCO Project # 04-1327

Location Details

The site is located approximately 2 miles south of Pateros along Highway 97. The majority of the site is situated east of Hwy 97 and west of Starr road. Portions of the site are located west of Hwy 97 and east of Starr road.

What is the WWRP

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) is a state grant program that creates and conserves local and state parks, wildlife habitat and working farms. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office administers WWRP grants, and the legislature funds the program.