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 & Wildlife (WDFW) will use this grant to acquire approximately 6,700 acres, being Phase 4 of a multi-phase project to acquire 22,000 acres of land in the Simcoe Mountains. The property is located off of Box Canyon Road approximately 10 miles northeast of Goldendale in Klickitat County and includes mixed conifer, Oregon white oak, white alder, shrub steppe, grasslands, cliffs, and 10 miles of Riparian Protection habitat that includes the upper Rock Creek drainage and its tributaries. This project will protect priority species including federally listed steelhead, Chinook salmon, state threatened western gray squirrel, mule deer, burrowing owl, & western toad and will open the land for quality recreation (hiking, fishing, and hunting), currently unavailable in this area.