Urban Wildlife Habitat projects fund close-to-home places to play and explore nature. As our urban areas are increasingly expanding and densifying, these grants protect important fish and wildlife habitat within five miles of densely populated areas, creating green refuges that help keep our ecosystems healthy and provide places to enjoy nature right in our backyards.
This is Phase II of a project to protect the entire riparian corridor of the last pristine salmon-bearing (coho, chum, and sea-run cutthroat) creeks in King County. The saltwater estuary at the mouth of Shinglemill Creek (Fern Cove) was purchased in 1994 with IAC funding. Phase II will protect the upstream elements that are essential salmon habitat: the braided stream channel; the wetlands bordering the stream; the forested walls of the stream canyon; and a buffer on either side. IAC funds will be used to purchase 116 acres that include the stream channel and the headwaters and to cover costs associated with conservation easements that will limit future development on another 139 acres, thereby providing a crucial buffer. A dozen landowners have already agreed to donate these conservation easements. Apart from the IAC supported portion of the project, another 69 acres of the canyon will be acquired by trading it for other land owned by King County. In total, over 320 acres will be protected. The project will be completed by 2003 with protection of the remaining portion of the uplands.