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 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife used this grant to thin, prune, pile, and burn areas in the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, which is dependent on fire for a healthy ecosystem. Fire, a key ecological process, has been excluded for nearly 100 years. Fire and its byproducts help maintain a mosaic of plant communities, in various stages of succession across the landscape. The project has improved conditions for many wildlife species, including flammulated owls, pygmy nuthatchs, and white-headed woodpeckers. Also, the project reduced the risk of catastrophic wildfire, rejuvenated mule deer winter range, improved forest health, and provided jobs. The project began implementation of the recently completed Sinlahekin Fuels Reduction and Fire Regime Restoration Plan and complimented ongoing cooperative efforts with the Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service, whose lands respectively intermingle and adjoin the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area.