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 prepare a plan and burn about 1,000 acres in the Sherman Creek Wildlife Area, in Ferry County. The department also will remove some of the trees to thin the forest, when weather prevents the fire implementation. The department has thinned more than 4,000 acres of the forest since 2008, with the intention of burning another 3,300 with prescribed fire. To date 800 acres have been burned. The burning and thinning will restore and protect ecological processes and improve forest health for white-headed woodpeckers, pygmy nuthatches, pileated woodpeckers, white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose, and other wildlife. The work also will enhance recreational opportunities like hunting and wildlife viewing.