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 Rock Creek/Tieton Forest Thin Pile and Burn Restoration Project will implement restoration thinning, pile burning, and broadcast burning on approximately 1,500 acres of WDFW lands in the Oak Creek Wildlife Area (OCWA). These lands are former industrial private timber company lands that were recently acquired and added to the OCWA through collaborative efforts with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF). The area remains in checkerboard ownership of predominately U.S. Forest Service and WDFW managed lands with some adjacent DNR managed land. The project area is located within and adjacent to the Oak Creek Forest Restoration Project, which was the first landscape to receive restoration treatments under the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative’s Federal Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) grant. Under the CFLR grant and related Tapash restoration efforts, mechanical treatments have occurred on approximately 16 percent of USFS lands. Additionally, these efforts combined with a previously awarded RCO grant increased treated acres from only 1 percent to approximately 10 percent of state and private lands in the Oak Creek watershed over the last 5 years. State and private lands primarily consists of WDFW managed land, DNR managed land, and TNC land.