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 Department of Natural Resources, along with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, will use this grant to restore rare grassland and oak woodland habitat at five of the most important prairie-oak conservation sites in the south Puget Sound region: Scatter Creek, Mima Mounds, West Rocky Prairie, Rocky Prairie, and Bald Hill. These sites support numerous rare and declining prairie-associated wildlife species but have been degraded by invasive species, altered fire regimes, and other issues. The state agencies will acquire native seeds and transplants, prepare restoration areas for seeding by burning them and controlling invasive plants, and seed and replant the treated areas. Key invasive species, including Scot’s broom and tall oatgrass, will be targeted for control on additional areas within the sites. The work will enhance habitat for the Oregon spotted frog in the West Rocky Prairie area. The two agencies are partnering on this project because they have identical restoration needs and can save time and money by avoiding redundancies in staffing, contracting, and seed source development.