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.
This project in Klickitat County acquired property which provides extremely critical habitat for a variety of endangered, threatened, and candidate species, including Bald eagles (winter roost) and Sandhill cranes (staging area). The project area is comprised of over 70% wetlands and is considered a unique and invaluable area by amphibian experts. It contains the most viable of only six known Washington populations of the Oregon Spotted Frog, a state endangered and federal candidate species. This wetland system is part of the Pacific Flyway, and supports a large number of neotropical migratory birds. The project area is also important wintering habitat for black-tailed deer, and is part of an essential movement corridor for a large elk herd and is used for wintering, spring foraging and calving. A variety of other wildlife species use the area, including black bear, river otter, coyotes, beaver, small mammals and amphibians. Resident trout use the creek and marsh channels. One of the two largest populations of the rare pale blue-eyed grass (federal candidate species) and the largest population of the rare Pulsifers monkey-flower known to occur in the state are found here. Two properties were acquired with this grant agreement: the Hollenbeck property consists of 68 acres with 5 acres of Riparian Protection habitat, 28 acres of upland, and 35 acres of wetland; and the Hancock property consists of 200 acres with 5 acres of Riparian Protection habitat, 180 acres of upland, and 15 acres of wetland.