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 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) used this grant to acquire 12,606 acres to protect critical wildlife habitat for sharp-tailed grouse and other species. The property was located in Okanogan County. The acquisition helped conserve the ecological integrity and biological diversity of the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area by protecting parcels containing sharp-tailed grouse leks, as well as nesting, brooding, rearing, and winter breeding areas and linking these parcels to existing public land. The project agreement is amended per RCW 79A.15.030 and WAC 286-27 to allow conversion of 920 acres of the Metcalf property for non-habitat purposes. The converted property is replaced with 3,197.74 acres of property located in two different WDFW wildlife areas within Kittitas County. The conversion and replacement were approved by the director on August 20, 2009 per delegation granted by the funding board in July 2009 as reflected in resolution 2009-18. Replacement property eligiblity was determined by the funding board in September 2008 as reflected in resolution 2008-046. Total acres covered under the project agreement, after this amendment, is 14,883.74 acres.