Post Fire Shrub Steppe Habitat Restoration

Category Overview

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.

Project Highlights

The Department of Natural Resources restored 75 acres of shrub steppe habitat on four Natural Area Preserves in Okanogan and Douglas Counties as part of the Post Fire Shrub Steppe Habitat Restoration Project. All sites were previously impacted by wildfires in 2014 and 2015. While each site was impacted differently Methow Rapids and Two Steppe NAPs where impacted the most and the majority of the work was focused on these two sites. The native plant communities at Davis Canyon and Riverside NAPs responded well to the fires and no additional seeded or planting was needed. At Davis Canyon and Riverside Breaks approximately 15 acres of invasive species such as Dalmatian toadflax, knapweed and Baby’s breath where treated. At Methow Rapids several areas of the site had burned very hot and where dominated by invasive species such as Dalmatian toadflax, knapweed, and baby’s breath. Approximately 30 acres of invasive species where treated multiple times over two years. During the fall of 2020 approximately 20 acres was seeded and planted with native forbs and grasses. Additional spot treatment of invasive species was conducted in the spring of 2021. While the majority of the plant communities at Two Steppe NAP are in good condition there were several areas that needed restoration activities to improve the native plant communities. Areas along the seasonal creeks and within the western parcel burned very hot and where dominated by annual grasses and forbs after the fire. Approximately 30 acres of invasive annual grasses and forbs were treated in select areas. In addition, individual Dalmatian toadflax, knapweed and yellow starthisle plants were treated within the burned areas. During the fall of 2020, 20 acres was seeded and planted with native grass and forbs. In addition, 500 sagebrush plants were planted at Two Steppe NAP. In the spring of 2021, annual grasses and forbs were treated within the seeded areas to improve conditions for the native species to establish. Natural Areas staff will continue to monitor these sites and treat select invasive species as needed. At Two Steppe NAP, additional grass seed will be broadcast seeded and sagebrush planted in the fall of 2021.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: Natural Resources Dept of Category: State Lands Restoration & Enhancement WWRP Grant: $97,205.07 Applicant Match: $0.00 Project Type: Restoration County: Douglas, Okanogan Legislative District: 7 Status: Closed Completed RCO Project # 16-1678

Location Details

All three Natural Area Preserves are located within Okanogan County. Methow Rapids is located 1 mile south of Pateros on Highway 97. Riverside Breaks is located 2 miles north of Omak on Highway 97. Davis Canyon is located 13 north of Brewster along old Highway 97.

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.