Critical Habitat projects are our state’s primary tool for conserving important fish and wildlife habitat. These projects protect the rich and diverse habitats in our forests, prairies, and wetlands. These funds help maintain our state’s biodiversity and protect species that are popular for hunting, birding, and other outdoor recreation, and are critical for the health of our salmon and fish populations.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife will use this grant to buy about 1,100 acres of shrub steppe and stream bank on the Cleman Mountain to conserve habitat for an extraordinary diversity of species. The land borders the Wenas Wildlife Area on two sides and connects to important shrub steppe core habitats. It also contains imperiled shrub steppe, stream, floodplain, aspen groves, and talus habitats. The diversity of bird species in this area is breathtaking. About 25 percent of the bird species that occur in the lower 48 states has been identified in this watershed. In addition, a significant component of the Yakima elk herd winters next to this land. The land is near Yakima, Selah, and Naches, and is a popular area for bird watching, wildlife viewing, hunting, and fishing.