Methow Watershed Phase 4

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

The goal of the Methow Watershed project in Okanogan County is to secure the habitats necessary to maintain all of the ecological processes of the watershed and to sustain maximum biological diversity. This phase of the project will secure the critical habitats that are under-represented in the protected land base and link them to existing agency holdings. The target parcels will help protect the largest privately-owned, contiguous block of shrub-steppe habitat remaining in the watershed, along with four miles of Beaver Creek frontage and two miles of Methow River frontage in a critical area for sharp-tailed grouse, spring Chinook and Upper Columbia steelhead. In addition, these acquisitions will protect biologically-rich riparian forests and provide important habitat for riparian songbirds, furbearers, amphibians and many other priority species. The target parcels connect to public land and link 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. The Methow Watershed project is WDFW’s most successful WWRP acquisition project to date. 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: $2,812,870.08 Applicant Match: $0.00 Project Type: Acquisition County: Okanogan Legislative District: 7 Status: Closed Completed RCO Project # 04-1286

Location Details

The Upper Methow portion is 4-5 miles west of Winthrop on Hwy 20 and includes land between the Big Valley portion of the Methow Wildlife Area and Gunn Ranch Rd. The Beaver Creek portion is 3 miles east of Twisp, primarily west of Beaver Creek Rd and south of the Balky Hill Rd.

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.