The State Lands Restoration and Enhancement category provides funding to two state agencies to help repair damaged plant and animal habitat. These grants focus on resource preservation and protection of public lands. Projects in this category help bring important natural areas and resources back to their original functions by improving the self sustaining and ecological functionality of sites.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife will use this grant to restore a half-mile of Scotch Creek, in the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area, in Okanogan County, to improve habitat for sharp-tailed grouse. The Columbian sharp-tailed grouse is listed as a species threatened with extinction by the State, and exists in only seven isolated and small populations in Washington, with the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area being one of those places. The grouse eat water birch in the winter and the department wants to establish birch along the creek. The department will install beaver dam analogs to raise the water table and allow the creek to meander and collect sediment into the creek’s incised channel. The overall goal is to make this segment of the creek healthier, to increase capacity of the creek and wetland to store water for drought protection, and improve water quality, habitat, and habitat-forming processes. In the second year of the grant, the department will plant the creekbanks. Raising the water table will allow streambank plants and trees to survive.