The Nature Conservancy’s project scored the highest of 20 projects competing statewide for funding in the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, a grant program that funds projects to build parks and trails and conserve wildlife and farmland. The project was competing in the riparian protection category.
Bill Chapman, chairman of the Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, which awarded the grant, presented a check representing the grant award at the conservancy’s Oct. 5 board meeting.The Nature Conservancy will use this grant to buy 1,114 acres, including more than
648 acres of forest and wetland along the Queets and Clearwater Rivers on the Olympic peninsula.
These two rivers support some of the healthiest, most viable, and genetically diverse salmon populations in the lower 48 states, making them an essential anchor for the conservation of salmon habitat and diversity of wildlife on the Washington coast. The rivers drain nearly 300,000 acres and are home to wild Chinook, coho, chum, pink, and sockeye salmon, steelhead, and cutthroat and bull trout.
The rivers, and the forests along them, also support other important animals, such as the Pacific lampreys, Olympic mudminnows, marbled murrelets, and bald eagles.