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 acquire a 108-acre property in the Skookum Creek Watershed to protect and enhance fish & wildlife populations. Approximately 85 acres are classified Riparian Protection. The land to be acquired lies within an ancient lakebed and includes remnant wetlands and a natural spring. It is currently managed as a farm; acquisition will be subject to a life estate but cattle will be removed from the Riparian Protection area within three years of acquisition. The Skookum Creek watershed is not highly developed and therefore has high restoration potential. It supports healthy stocks of chum salmon and a declining stock of coho. Land protection within the watershed also contributes to improved water quality and ongoing integrity of the DNR Skookum Inlet Natural Area Preserve.