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 Department of Fish and Wildlife will use this grant to buy 215 acres along the Teanaway River, northeast of Cle Elum in Kittitas County. The river is critical habitat for steelhead and Bull Trout, both of which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act, and is a major focal watershed for Chinook Salmon recovery efforts in the upper Yakima River basin. The land contains more than a half-mile of the Teanaway River and nearly 1.5 miles of four tributary streams, two of which are fish-bearing. This biologically diverse and wild place is bisected by the Teanaway River and contains about 117 acres of intact, functioning shoreline, wetland, floodplain, and wet meadow habitats. The land is used by beavers, Columbia spotted frogs, Neotropical songbirds, deer, elk, northern spotted owls, bears, cougars, and gray wolves. The department wants to protect this intact habitat to preserve critical watershed functions and connect the wildlife habitat of the Teanaway River and Teanaway Community Forest. The department will remove some buildings and provide recreational access to the river and uplands by building a small parking lot where the buildings were.