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 will use this grant to acquire about 168 acres for inclusion in the Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area located in east King County. This project consists of a single private ownership which provides crucial wildlife habitat in an urban area and is highly threatened by residential development. This property is part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway which is a 100-mile landscape of forests, wildlife habitat and open spaces along Interstate 90. Distinctive site features include mature Douglas fir forests, pockets of old growth forests, snag-rich wildlife habitats, numerous riparian systems, cliffs, steep slopes and wildlife corridors. The high quality of this site is due to the habitat diversity, remote character and wildlife connections it provides in the surrounding landscape and region. The area is used by a variety of wildlife including northern spotted owls, Pileated woodpecker, Peregrine falcon, black bear, Roosevelt elk, bobcat, cougar, fox, coyote, osprey, blacktail deer and a variety of other mammals, birds, insects and amphibians. This project would secure current and future low-impact public use opportunities in a popular recreation corridor and will protect significant Urban Wildlife Habitat habitat, landscape and wildlife habitat connections.