The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC), and Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are seeking project proposals to benefit wildlife affected by wildfire on private, tribal, and public lands in eastern Washington.
“Washington’s shrubsteppe habitat, wildlife, and communities are facing many threats, so protecting and restoring remaining shrubsteppe habitat is more important than ever,” said Kelly Susewind, WDFW Director.
Funded by the Washington state Legislature the Washington Shrubsteppe Restoration and Resiliency Initiative (WSRRI) coordinates and delivers resources to promote resilience for wildlife and communities.
The initiative is the first large-scale effort by Washington state to send resources immediately after wildfire to impacted shrubsteppe habitat according to a WDFW press release.
Resources are available for projects that will restore shrubsteppe habitats, rebuild needed fencing to wildlife-friendly standards, and support habitat recovery by reimbursing producers for supplemental feed or pasture rental after a wildfire.
According to WDFW’s press release projects are welcome from all areas throughout the Columbia Plateau. Eligible counties include Adams, Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Douglas, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lincoln, Okanogan, Spokane, Whitman, and Yakima.
“Post-fire recovery is a critical need in Washington state, but it is particularly important in these communities affected most often and most critically by wildfire,” said Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands.
Proposal review will start on February 20. Public and tribal land managers, lessees of public land, and private landowners are encouraged to contact their local conservation district to learn more about and submit project proposals for deferred grazing and wildlife-friendly fencing.