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 Washinton Department of Natural Resources restored 60 acres of forest and 10 acres of wetland habitat at Trout Lake Natural Area Preserve. Three areas where selected of oak balds that contain the rare Pulsifer’s monkey flower and are within Northen Spotted Owl habitat. Plant surveys were conducted before thinning to select the best areas to treat. The small diameter conifers were cut around mature oak and larger conifers. Snags were created by girdling the larger trees and leaving them standing. Material that was cut was scattered on site or piled to be burned in the future. Work was completed through a cooperative agreement with Mt. Adams Resource Stewards, a local non profit organization. Invasive species such as knapweed and Canada thistle were hand pulled from the forested areas. In the wetland approximately 10 acres of invasive grasses were removed first by mowing the area and then installing black weed barrier cloth. After two years the cloth was removed and areas planted with native sedges and grasses. Native seed was collected on site and grown out by students at Clark College in Vancouver, WA. Planting was conducted with the help of local volunteers and Washington Conservation Crew members. The wetland area is an important Oregon Spotted Frog breeding area. It is essential to maintain good quality habitat to ensure the survival of this species at Trout Lake NAP. The restoration areas were surveyed by DNR archeologists prior to ground disturbance activities. Yakama Nation Tribe was consulted on all work.