Fish and wildlife to benefit from larger conservation areas

The boundary of Mount Si NRCA is now 20,753 acres.
The boundary of Mount Si NRCA is now 20,753 acres. PHOTO DNR

This fall, three Natural Resources Conservation Areas (NRCAs) expanded their boundaries: Stavis, Mount Si, and Middle Fork Snoqualmie NRCAs. The expansions add important acreage to the conservation areas.

This is great news for fish and wildlife, as the expansions include habitat for chum and coho salmon at Stavis NRCA and wildlife connectivity (movement within landscapes) at Mount Si and Middle Fork Snoqualmie NRCAs.

Stavis NRCA
In October, the boundary was expanded to include 909 additional acres, for a total boundary acreage of 5,209 acres. The new boundary includes some of the last remaining undeveloped land connected to the Stavis NRCA. This area includes the Harding Creek stream system that provides habitat for chum and coho salmon, forested uplands, and 2.5 miles of undeveloped Hood Canal shoreline. See the Stavis NRCA accepted boundary expansion map.

Mount Si NRCA
In December, the boundary was expanded to include 4,953 acres, for a total boundary acreage of approximately 20,753 acres. The new boundaries include low- and high-elevation Douglas fir forest with old growth that provides wildlife connectivity to adjacent U.S. Forest Service and wilderness lands. See the Mount Si NRCA accepted boundary expansion map.

Middle Fork Snoqualmie NRCA

Middle Fork Snoqualmie NRCA has a total of 10,828 acres with improvement to wildlife connections to adjacent lands. PHOTO BY Sam Jarrett/DNR
Middle Fork Snoqualmie NRCA has a total of 10,828 acres with improvement to wildlife connections to adjacent lands. PHOTO BY Sam Jarrett/DNR

Also in December, this NRCA’s boundary expanded by 434 acres, for a total boundary acreage of approximately 10,828 acres. The new boundary is designed to improve wildlife connections to adjacent U.S. National Forest lands. See the Middle Fork Snoqualmie NRCA accepted boundary expansion map.

Designating an NRCA boundary does not impose additional rules or restrictions on the private or tribal landowners in the area. It allows DNR options to seek outside grants to purchase the private lands, if the sellers are willing. Sources include the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program grants awarded by the Recreation & Conservation Office (RCO). Lands managed for other state trusts could be obtained for an NRCA through the legislatively funded Trust Land Transfer Program. DNR often works collaboratively with conservation organizations to seek grants.

For more information, visit the Natural Areas Program webpage.

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