As Washington continues to grow, many of our most beautiful areas are threatened with development. In addition, native ecosystems are receding, and important wildlife habitat and migratory pathways are being cut off. The Natural Areas category helps combat this by funding projects that protect wildlife habitat and rare geological features while also preserving public access for back-country recreation.
The Department of Natural Resources will use this grant to acquire approximately 200 acres located within The Washougal Oaks Natural Area. 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. The site supports two state sensitive plant species, and two rare or threatened animal species: Slender-billed Nuthatch, and Lower Columbia Steelhead. Washougal Oaks Natural Area is located along the Columbia River Gorge in Clark County. The site will be used for habitat conservation and passive recreation.