Urban Wildlife Habitat projects fund close-to-home places to play and explore nature. As our urban areas are increasingly expanding and densifying, these grants protect important fish and wildlife habitat within five miles of densely populated areas, creating green refuges that help keep our ecosystems healthy and provide places to enjoy nature right in our backyards.
This 37-acre aquatic land acquisition will permanently protect more than a half of a mile of Bear Creek and 425 feet of a productive and healthy coho-bearing tributary to Bear Creek. The five sites contained in this acquisition are located in the Upper and Middle Bear Creek Conservation Areas. All five sites are forested with a mix of upland and wetland habitats including mature forests and wetlands that are hydrologically connected to Bear Creek. Four of the five parcels are contiguous with King County conservation lands that are protected in perpetuity. Six different species of salmon including ESA-listed Chinook salmon use these sites for spawning, rearing, and migration. Bears, cougars, bobcats, pileated woodpeckers, western redback salamanders, and fresh water mussels have been documented on several of these sites. In addition to the documented species, many other wildlife species would be expected to occupy or use these sites based on the contiguity and variety of habitat types these parcels offer. Over the past 10 years, the five jurisdictions sharing the Bear Creek basin have conserved over 2000 acres of excellent wildlife and salmon habitat. Fall salmon runs to the Bear Creek system annually average between 20,000 and 60,000 returning adults. In addition, conservation lands are adopted by a community group called Water Tenders who conduct planting, nonnative plant removal, and clean up events about four times a year.