Skookumchuck Watershed Phase 1

Category Overview

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.

Project Highlights

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will use this grant to acquire 4,635 acres in the Skookumchuck Watershed in Kittitas County. The property is primarily shrub-steppe habitat, with stream, riparian, cliff, talus, and cave habitats as well. This acquisition will complete the department’s efforts to acquire 17,500 acres, establish a landscape-scale link between the Whiskey Dick and Quilomene Wildlife Areas, and protect virtually an entire watershed in a key location. The property is between wildlife areas and a gap between protected areas within the largest swath of shrub-steppe remaining in the state. The Skookumchuck also is listed as an Audubon Important Bird Area. A long list of wildlife will benefit from this acquisition, including sage grouse, sage thrasher, sage sparrow, loggerhead shrike, and sagebrush lizard.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: Fish & Wildlife Dept of Category: Critical Habitat WWRP Grant: $1,854,789.00 Applicant Match: $0.00 Project Type: Acquisition County: Kittitas Legislative District: 13 Status: Closed Completed RCO Project # 04-1283

Location Details

By 4WD proceed north through Vantage toward the old Vantage Hwy. Take the 2nd right which leads to a boat launch. Through a locked gate on your left (lock managed by Ginkgo State Park), roughly parallel to the Columbia River for 9 miles. Contact Mark Teske as a guide.

What is the WWRP

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) is a state grant program that creates and conserves local and state parks, wildlife habitat and working farms. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office administers WWRP grants, and the legislature funds the program.