As Washington continues to grow, many of our most beautiful areas are threatened with development. In addition, native ecosystems are receding, and important wildlife habitat and migratory pathways are being cut off. The Natural Areas category helps combat this by funding projects that protect wildlife habitat and rare geological features while also preserving public access for back-country recreation.
The Department of Natural Resources will use this grant to acquire 104 acres within the Selah Cliffs Natural Area Preserve, which provides protection for one of the largest populations of the basalt daisy, a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act. The basalt daisy’s global distribution is limited to the southern half of the Yakima River Canyon and the adjacent Selah Creek Canyon. The existing preserve encompasses more than 75 percent of this population. This acquisition will increase the proportion of the population that is protected, improve the department’s access to the site, and enhance the department’s ability to manage the site.