Urban Wildlife Habitat projects fund close-to-home places to play and explore nature. As our urban areas are increasingly expanding and densifying, these grants protect important fish and wildlife habitat within five miles of densely populated areas, creating green refuges that help keep our ecosystems healthy and provide places to enjoy nature right in our backyards.
The Washington Department of Natural Resources used this grant to buy 310.01 acres near Seabeck. The land, a crucial part of the Stavis Natural Resources Conservation Area and the Kitsap Forest Natural Area, is threatened by development. This area contains a high quality occurrence of a rare forest community and a variety of high quality wildlife habitats. The site is part of a much larger area of managed forests on the western Kitsap Peninsula that form one of the most important landscapes for biodiversity conservation in the Puget trough. 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 Hood Canal summer chum, which are threatened with extinction. High-quality, freshwater wetlands on the land form the headwaters of the creek and have habitat for cavity-nesting ducks. The site also hosts an active bald eagle nest, a small great blue heron rookery, breeding mountain quail, Chinook salmon, cougars, and black bears.