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 Chelan-Douglas Land Trust will use this grant to buy 37 acres of floodplain along the Wenatchee River, preventing development of a six-unit cluster subdivision already approved by Chelan County. The land trust would allow the river to rework the floodplain unimpeded, which it substantially modified during floods in the 1990s. The land trust also would remove a barn. The area is the largest undeveloped floodplain along the lower Wenatchee River. The area also is identified as a high priority for preservation in its undeveloped state. Acquisition will protect intact and functioning floodplain, primarily forested, and the inlets of two large seasonal side channels. The river is used by Chinook Salmon, which endangered, and steelhead and Bull Trout, both of which , which are listed as threatened with extinction under the federal Endangered Species Act, as well as by Coho and Sockeye salmon. It also is important habitat for mule deer, passerines, raptors, waterfowl, and beavers. The land trust will allow the public access from a nearby county road for non-motorized recreation such as hiking, bird watching, fishing, and floating. The lower Wenatchee River has no public access from land between parks at Monitor (3 miles upstream) and the mouth (3 miles downstream). The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust will contribute $330,400 from a local grant, a grant from the Washington State salmon recovery program, and donations of labor.