Northern Shrub Steppe NAPs

Category Overview

As Washington continues to grow, many of our most beautiful areas are threatened with development. In addition, native ecosystems are receding, and important wildlife habitat and migratory pathways are being cut off. The Natural Areas category helps combat this by funding projects that protect wildlife habitat and rare geological features while also preserving public access for back-country recreation.

Project Highlights

This project seeks to protect excellent to good condition examples of eastern Washington’s original bunchgrass grassland at two sites in Douglas County: Dyer Haystacks and Two Steppe Natural Area Preserves. Big sagebrush and three-tip sagebrush appear in these grasslands with a diversity of native wildflowers and grasses, most predominantly bluebunch wheatgrass (the State grass). These sites include representatives of the unique geology of Washington. Dyer Haystacks is a jumble of glacial erratic boulders and Two Steppe includes a cliff along Moses Coulee. Lands proposed for acquisition provide habitat for federal and state listed species: sharptail grouse and sage grouse (federal species of concern and state threatened); sage sparrow, sage thrasher and golden eagle (state candidate species), and for state sensitive plant species. This project is coordinated with the State Department of Fish and Wildlife efforts to restore habitat for the listed species in Douglas County, and will provide native habitat and a baseline for restoration and management monitoring. Two Steppe is a phase 2 acquisition that will add to the NAP’s core area; The Nature Conservancy is a partner in this project. DNR is planning to recommend that the proposed Dyer Haystacks NAP be significantly enlarged.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: Natural Resources Dept of Category: Natural Areas WWRP Grant: 4426.98 Applicant Match: 0 Project Type: Acquisition County: Douglas Legislative District: 12 Status: Not Completed RCO Project # 00-1338

Location Details

Two Steppe: From Waterville, east on Hwy. 2 appx. 20 mi. to Moses Coulee, continue on Hwy. 2 to eastside of coulee. Site is south of highway from cliff face to first dirt road on the south side. Dyer Haystacks: From Waterville, east on Hwy 2 appx. 15 mi. to junction with SR 172, north on SR 172 appx. 20 mi. to junction with Bridgeport Hill Road, north on Bridgeport Hill Road appx. 6 mi. to junction with Dyer Hill Road, turn left, go west and north on Dyer Hill Road appx. 3 mi. to junction with Gallaher Road, go north appx. 5 mi. to fork in road, go left (northwest) 2 mi. to site (small hill with antenna on top).

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.