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 proposes to purchase approximately 482 acres in the Mount Si, Middle Fork Snoqualmie, and West Tiger Mountain Natural Resources Conservation Areas (NRCA) in east King County (38 acres at Mount Si, 330 acres at Middle Fork Snoqualmie, 114 acres at West Tiger Mountain NRCA). High priority properties identified for acquisition in this project are key parcels in the Mountains to Sound Greenway (the Greenway) are highly threatened by residential development and provide crucial habitat in an urban area. The Greenway is a 100-mile landscape of forests, wildlife habitat and open spaces along Interstate 90, a National Scenic Byway. Distinctive features include talus, high elevation lakes, numerous streams, wetlands, old-growth and mature forests, cliffs, and landscape connections for wildlife. Large mammals known to use the NRCAs include cougar, bobcats, mountain goat, black bear, coyote and elk. Red-tailed hawks, osprey, barred owls, pygmy owls, and pileated woodpeckers have been observed. The goal for this project is for the Department of Natural Resources to purchase and manage high priority properties to protect significant urban wildlife habitat, provide opportunities for low-impact public use and outdoor environmental education, and provide vital open space, landscape and wildlife habitat connections, and scenic vistas.