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.
Under this grant, The WDFW acquired approximately 2,063.05 acres of the 4-O Ranch property in the Phase 5 of this multi-phase acquisition. This purchase brought the total acreage purchased in all phases of this acquisition to approximately 10,451 acres. Approved amendments to this project agreement included: 1) An amendment that modified the project contract by adding fencing, noxious weed control, cultural resources, and administrative costs for the Mountain View Phase 1 property acquired under #10-1613A, Mountain View Property Phase 1, and the Mountain View Phase 3 and 4 properties acquired under #12-1125A, Mountain View 4-0 and Hansen Ridge. These properties are within the geographic envelope identified as part of the grant application. 2) An amendment to raise admin costs to 5% 3) An amendment to add funding for signs 4) An amendment for two time extensions from December 31, 2017, to June 30, 2019 Cultural Resources work was completed and indicated that no adverse effects were anticipated as a result of the acquisition and post-closing activities funded under this grant. Through this grant, WDFW – Built 13,200 ft of fencing in Phase 1 – Treated 3 acres of noxious weeds in Phase 1; 3 acres of noxious weeds in Phase 3; 3 acres of noxious weeds in Phase 4; and 100 acres of noxious weeds in Phase 5 – Posted 150 signs including 5-8 RCO acknowledgement signs Grazing will be allowed to continue on the property as long as it does not diminish the essential purposes of the grant and adheres to RCO board policies. Agricultural use on the property will also continue as it enhances forage crops available to big game. WDFW completed a Cultural Resources report that concluded it was unlikely that fencing work would disturb intact, significant cultural deposits. With this RCO grant, WDFW was able to acquire additional property in the wildlife area for critical habitat conservation. $2,000,000 of this grant was used to match Mountain View 4-O Ranch Phase 4 and Phase 5 Acquisition under USFWS grant F15AP00001. $71,075 of this grant was used as match for Donohue/Tucannon Access Acquisition under USFWS grant F17AF01268. As of September 6, 2019, the remainder of $1,537,348 of property value of Mountain View 4-O Ranch Phase 5 is banked match for other properties in the geographic envelope.