Tieton River Canyon

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

Acquire up to 1,920 acres of land in the scenic Tieton River canyon and Upper Oak Creek in Yakima County for addition to Oak Creek Wildlife Area (OCWA). Includes a rich diversity of habitats; shrub-steppe, basalt cliffs, ponderosa pine forests, cottonwood riparian and oak woodland. Species present include golden eagle, white-headed and pileated woodpecker, prairie falcon, harlequin duck, bighorn sheep, bull trout, steelhead, & elk. Project in northernmost portion of oak woodland zone. Area has a high density of nesting raptors. It has important range for elk, bighorn sheep & mule deer. Streams have well-developed, complex channels and intact Riparian Protections. Tieton and Oak Creek are popular recreation areas year-round for hiking, bird watching, hunting, fishing, shed antler hunting, camping, mushroom picking, rafting, and recreational driving. Highway 12 follows the Tieton River along one of the most spectacular highway corridors in Washington. A popular trail at Bear Creek Canyon is on this site. Lands are in checkerboard ownership within the Wenatchee National Forest boundary & adjacent to the OCWA. Lands for sale by Plum Creek Timber Company are vulnerable to intense logging and development. It is important to protect these lands for the integrity of wild lands in the long term.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: Fish & Wildlife Dept of Category: Critical Habitat WWRP Grant: $2,548,980.00 Applicant Match: $0.00 Project Type: Acquisition County: Yakima Legislative District: 13 Status: Active Completed RCO Project # 02-1160

Location Details

From Yakima: Highway 12, west through town of Naches. Left onto Highway 12 towards White Pass. When reach "Wenatchee National Forest" boundary sign, this is the beginning of the township where these sections occur. Travel 6 miles along Highway 12, when reach Trout Lodge, you have just left the township. Other lands accessed via main road up Oak Creek, turn approximately 1/2 mile west of Oak Creek headquarters on Highway 12. Lands begin approximately 4 miles up Oak Creek.

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.