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 project seeks to conserve, through fee title acquisition, approximately 220 acres of undeveloped riparian, wetland and forested property in Tenino, Thurston County. The property contains 8,000 feet of Deschutes River shoreline and 3,200 feet of Silver Creek shoreline, both providing important habitat to ESA-listed salmonids. Silver Creek provides scarce off-channel fish habitat and is a critical cold-water source for the Deschutes River, which is 303d listed for water temperature (among other water quality issues.) 78% of the property is comprised of prairie soils, and there is oak-prairie habitat along the northern property boundary, and potential for large-scale prairie restoration on other portions of the property, including the potential to establish Mazama pocket gophers (ESA-listed) on the site. Finally, the property is used year-round by elk groups from the South Rainier Elk Herd. The primary focus of this project is to protect important wildlife habitat, but there will be a small parking area and trail offering public access to part of the property. Future plans, outside of the scope of this grant proposal, include restoring the property’s oak-prairie habitat.