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 Department of Fish and Wildlife will use this grant to thin and sometimes burn 1,499 acres in the Rock Creek-Cleman Ridge forest, in the Oak Creek Wildlife Area, northwest of Yakima. Past logging removed many of the large trees, leaving smaller, shade-tolerant trees. The restoration will increase the forest’s ability to survive insects, drought, and wildfire by increasing the trees’ health and varying the habitat types across the landscape. The work will ensure that the forests provide hunting and fishing opportunities, and become quality habitat to species such as mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk, bighorn sheep, golden eagles, and northern spotted owls.