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 buy 149 acres at the western edge of the Columbia River Gorge for inclusion in the Washougal Oaks Natural Area. The land includes important streambank forest, oak forest, and salmon habitat. A fish-bearing stream inside a steep forested ravine runs through the heart of the site. This project is part of an ongoing effort to acquire land encompassing the largest, high-quality, native oak woodland remaining in western Washington. The woodland is of major conservation concern due to historic losses and ongoing degradation. The land also supports two state sensitive plant species and four rare or threatened animal species: slender-billed nuthatch and lower Columbia River steelhead trout, coastal cutthroat trout, and coho salmon.