Conserving land along our waterways protects important habitat and helps keep our rivers healthy, clean, and more resilient to drought. Riparian Protection projects conserve and restore fresh and saltwater habitat while protecting fish habitat. In doing so, the grants help provide our families, farms, and fisheries with clean water across the state.
The Squaxin Island Tribe will use this grant to buy 108.5 acres in the Skookum Creek watershed in Mason County to protect and enhance wildlife populations. The land lies in an ancient lakebed and includes remnant wetlands and streams as well as Skookum Creek. The land is a farm and the owners will be allowed to stay but the cattle will be removed from the shorelines within 3 years of acquisition. The Skookum Creek watershed is not highly developed but has portions that were modified heavily by historical farming practices and railroads. Skookum Creek supports healthy stocks of Chum Salmon, a declining stock of Coho Salmon, and the most productive Cutthroat Trout population in south Puget Sound. The Squaxin Island Tribe will contribute $660,320.