Conserving land along our waterways protects important habitat and helps keep our rivers healthy, clean, and more resilient to drought. Riparian Protection projects conserve and restore fresh and saltwater habitat while protecting fish habitat. In doing so, the grants help provide our families, farms, and fisheries with clean water across the state.
The Department of Natural Resources will use this grant to acquire about 149 acres of riparian forest, oak forest and salmonid habitat to include in the Washougal Oaks Natural Area, located in Clark County at the western edge of the Columbia River Gorge. This project is part of an ongoing effort to acquire quality habitat in this conservation landscape, which encompasses the largest high-quality native oak woodland remaining in western Washington and also includes a fish-bearing stream which runs through the heart of the site. This natural area supports two state sensitive plant species and four rare or threatened animal species. The primary conservation opportunity provided by this project is protection of the oak woodland and associated species from future residential development, other incompatible uses and exotic plant species, as well as environmental education and research opportunities.