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.
The Methow Conservancy will use this grant to acquire perpetual conservation easements on two sites: Lehman Uplands Phase II and Nysether. The former adds 264 acres to the 1,028-acre RCO-funded Lehman Uplands Phase I, and the latter adds 1,916 acres. The primary conservation value is undeveloped shrub-steppe and associated riparian draws and wetlands, which provide habitat linkages to existing protected land, conserve at-risk species, and maintain seasonal wildlife movement corridors. The Methow Conservancy will work with the landowner to develop a conservation oriented grazing plan with the goal of removing non-native grasses and weeds and increasing the abundance of native bunchgrasses. The primary benefit of this project is habitat conservation.