The State Lands Restoration and Enhancement category provides funding to two state agencies to help repair damaged plant and animal habitat. These grants focus on resource preservation and protection of public lands. Projects in this category help bring important natural areas and resources back to their original functions by improving the self sustaining and ecological functionality of sites.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife used this grant to remove weeds and reseed 100 acres of degraded shrub-steppe and 10 acres of Riparian Protection habitat in the Parke Creek and Little Parke Creek drainages. Livestock grazing, off-road vehicle travel, and logging have damaged the land and allowed weeds and undesirable grasses to establish. Shrub-steppe is a declining habitat that plays a vital role for wildlife, including sage grouse, Washington ground squirrel, sage thrasher, sage sparrow, Brewer’s sparrow, loggerhead shrike, and ferruginous hawk. Restoration of the Parke Creek area has contributed to the recovery efforts for sage grouse, which is a state threatened species. Invasive species such as foxtail barley and purple mustard were treated and replaced with native buchgrassess and forbs.