Methow Watershed Phase 3

Category Overview

Critical Habitat projects are our state’s primary tool for conserving important fish and wildlife habitat. These projects protect the rich and diverse habitats in our forests, prairies, and wetlands. These funds help maintain our state’s biodiversity and protect species that are popular for hunting, birding, and other outdoor recreation, and are critical for the health of our salmon and fish populations.

Project Highlights

Securing habitat needed to maintain all ecological processes and sustain maximum biological diversity in the Methow River watershed is the overall goal of this ongoing project. The current emphasis is to secure the most critical habitats under-represented in the protected land base, and link these parcels to existing agency holdings. Targeted parcels will protect the largest privately owned, contiguous block of shrub-steppe habitat remaining in the Methow Watershed, along with 5 miles of Beaver Creek frontage, and 4 miles of Methow River frontage along a critical stream reach. This will provide critical habitat for sharp-tailed grouse, spring chinook and Upper Columbia steelhead. In addition, these acquisitions will protect biologically rich riparian forests, providing important habitat for riparian songbirds, furbearers, amphibians and many other priority species. Targeted parcels connect to public land and ink critical riparian components to protected uplands. Maintaining connectivity will prevent fragmentation, maximize habitat effectiveness and facilitate wildlife movements within the watershed. No other major inhabited watershed in the state offers such opportunity for comprehensive protection of fish and wildlife resources and associated recreation. This is WDFW’s most successful WWRP acquisition project to date, and the finished product will serve as a showcase for the compatibility of sustainable development and resource conservation.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: Fish & Wildlife Dept of Category: Critical Habitat WWRP Grant: $1,604,990.04 Applicant Match: $0.00 Project Type: Acquisition County: Okanogan Legislative District: 7 Status: Closed Completed RCO Project # 02-1110

Location Details

Upper Methow Complex: 4 miles NW of Winthrop between Hwy 20 and the Methow River AND just down stream from the confluence of Goat Creek and the Methow River, 2 miles SE of Mazama. Beaver Creek: Beaver Creek frontage from where creek crosses Hwy 20 to Balky Hill Road, and most of the undeveloped uplands to the west bounded by East County Road, Balky Hill Road, Beaver Creek Road and Hwy 20.

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.