As Washington continues to grow, many of our most beautiful areas are threatened with development. In addition, native ecosystems are receding, and important wildlife habitat and migratory pathways are being cut off. The Natural Areas category helps combat this by funding projects that protect wildlife habitat and rare geological features while also preserving public access for back-country recreation.
This project will acquire privately owned properties and conservation easements near Seabeck in Kitsap County. These properties are highly threatened by development and are a crucial component of a larger project area that contains the highest quality occurrence of a Puget Lowland endemic forest community type. Less than one percent of the historic extent of similar mature and relatively undisturbed forest conditions remain in the Puget Lowland ecoregion today. Stavis Creek, which runs through the site, is one of the best remaining Hood Canal salmon spawning habitats and is a designated recovery area for federally threatened Hood Canal summer chum salmon. The headwater of this stream contains a high quality freshwater wetland ecosystem and it drains into a high quality estuary with lagoon, intertidal salt marsh and coastal spit.