Wenas Watershed Enhancement

Category Overview

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.

Project Highlights

Work completed in this grant improved forest health through thinning 2 units in Cleman Mountain, began reestablishing a floodplain for aquatic habitat, and improved upland habitat in areas through seeding and road abandonment. The first part of this project implemented helped improve stream habitat. An undersized bridge and associated fill material was removed in November, 2020. A new bridge was placed downstream at a more appropriate location. Hardy Canyon pedestrian bridge was removed, and new vehicle bridge was placed on November 24th, 2020. Bridge was ready for use by December 15th, 2020. The bridge removed was restricting flow and it was increasing risk of catastrophic failure flushing fill material downstream during a flood event. Aerial seeding of old bridge approaches occurred on November 25th, 2020. The remainder of the disturbed area was seeding in December, 2020 to native species. Two separate units were thinned which directly improved forest health. Thinning unit 2 (78 acres) burnt in the Evans Canyon Fire in August 2020. The thinning prescription was maintained, and all logs were decked by November 6th, 2020. Work had began on unit 1 (outside of the fire footprint) until wet conditions halted work. We identified 20 acres of disturbed areas within thinning units for seeding. Thinning unit 1 (138 acres) work was completed once conditions allowed us to go back in. Large woody debris from the thinning were stock piled on site for placement in Wenas Creek. 0.2 mile spur roads in thinning units were blocked and abandoned. Roadwork associated with thinning is complete. 2 fords installed on W3000 road. Newland pipe removal and ford installed. Newland road re-route and abandonment of old stream adjacent section. Blocking and abandonment of 0.2 mile spur roads in thinning units. Roads spot graded and rolling dips opened up. Routine pre haul maintenance and post haul maintenance done on W1010, W1100, W1110, W3000, W3300, W3301 and Newland Roads. Completion of Wenas Creek log placement including installation of 4 additional truck loads done August 2021. We ended up having additional funds separate from this grant which increased the number of logs we were able to place into the Wenas stream. Additionally, two piles of logs from the thinning were placed into the stream. Yakama Nations expertise was used for specific log placements throughout area of potential effect. In spring 2022, there has been a noticeable increase in water levels throughout area where logs have been placed. The method is working and the floodplain is beginning to be established back into it’s historic condition. Disturbed areas from the thinning and log placements were seeded with a native mix Fall and Winter of 2021. This included abandoned roads, one of which was an old stream adjacent re-routed road. All goals for this project were completed. Several steps for compliance and planning on the project were completed to implement work. Timber sale thinning layout began in August, 2019 and was completed in winter, 2019. SEPA was submitted and became final on 1/31/2020; forest practice application was submitted 2/4/2020 and was approved 2/21/2020. Cultural compliance through surveys and review was complete in 2020. HPA issued on August 20th, 2020.

Quick Facts

WWRP Applicant: Fish & Wildlife Dept of Category: State Lands Restoration & Enhancement WWRP Grant: $344,938.35 Applicant Match: $0.00 Project Type: Restoration County: Yakima Legislative District: 13 Status: Closed Completed RCO Project # 18-1830

Location Details

From Selah drive west on North Wenas Road ~18 miles to the Mellotte Public Gate.

What is the WWRP

The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) is a state grant program that creates and conserves local and state parks, wildlife habitat and working farms. The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office administers WWRP grants, and the legislature funds the program.