Critical Habitat projects are our state’s primary tool for conserving important fish and wildlife habitat. These projects protect the rich and diverse habitats in our forests, prairies, and wetlands. These funds help maintain our state’s biodiversity and protect species that are popular for hunting, birding, and other outdoor recreation, and are critical for the health of our salmon and fish populations.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife will use this grant to buy 210 acres in the Rendezvous Unit and next to the Big Valley Unit of the Methow Wildlife Area. The purchase will protect state imperiled intermountain basins, big sagebrush steppe, ponderosa pine woodland, and savanna ecological systems. In addition, the land contains important Quaking aspen stands, a wetland where a number of amphibian species have been observed, a crucial mule deer migration corridor, and stop-over habitat for animals migrating to and from the higher elevations of the Okanogan National Forest. Development pressure is constant in the Methow Valley and preserving connections between habitats for wide-ranging species is critical.