Urban Wildlife Habitat projects fund close-to-home places to play and explore nature. As our urban areas are increasingly expanding and densifying, these grants protect important fish and wildlife habitat within five miles of densely populated areas, creating green refuges that help keep our ecosystems healthy and provide places to enjoy nature right in our backyards.
The Department of Natural Resources will use this funding to purchase a single ownership totaling approximately 569 acres comprised of crucial wildlife habitat located within the Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA). This property is a key parcel in the Mountains to Sound Greenway and is considered the largest (in size) highest quality private inholding remaining in the NRCA. It is literally a mountain top in the heart of a contiguous conservation landscape. Features of this site include talus, high and low elevation lakes, numerous streams, wetlands, old-growth and mature forests, cliffs, and landscape connections for wildlife. Wildlife within the site include a variety of birds, mammals, amphibians, and fish. Large mammals known to use the NRCA include cougar, bobcat, mountain goat, black bear, coyote, and elk. Red-tailed hawks, osprey, barred owls, pygmy owls, and pileated woodpeckers have also been observed. Great horned owls and screech owls are likely inhabitants of the older sections of the forests. The primary purpose of this grant is protection of significant wildlife habitat, natural resources, landscape and wildlife habitat connections, and provision of low-impact public use.