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.
This proposal is to acquire critical properties within two high priority natural area preserve sites in the arid zone of eastern Washington. Sites include: Dyer Haystacks and Two Steppe. This is a region of the state where well over half the land has been permanently converted to agricultural uses. These arid lands contain the highest quality examples of native plant communities. They also provide important wildlife habitat, including critical Riparian Protection areas. Two Steppe NAP consists of four arid land communities in excellent condition with a dense cryptogram layer throughout. In phase one DNR acquired 355 acres; this proposal is to acquire a single ownership of 1500 acres. Dyer Haystacks NAP supports a high quality three-tipped sagebrush-grassland community, with both vernal and permanent ponds, on a terrain strewn with glacial erratics. The proposed NAP is 103 acres; as yet none are under long-term protection.