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 White Salmon Oak Natural Resources Conservation Area (NRCA) is located in Klickitat County in the lower White Salmon River valley. This site contains a mixture of oak woodlands, mixed conifer-oak forests, and open grassland balds. In addition this site supports a population of two state sensitive plant species and provides valuable habitat for the western gray squirrel, a state threatened species. This project will add approximately 140 acres to the NRCA that will help further protect these features and will also significantly increase the sites contribution to western gray squirrel conservation. In addition this acquisition includes approximately .7 mile of the Weldon Wagon Trail used by the public for low impact hiking enhancing public access to this site and environmental education opportunities.