Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Washington

Introduction and General Description
Washington State has several natural regions defined by their climate, elevation, and geology.  These include: forests, shrubsteppe grasslands, freshwater systems, and marine systems. Over thousands of years, fish and wildlife species have evolved and adapted to this array of ecosystems. Forests cover about half of the State, and our soils and climate make Washington one of the few areas in the nation capable of rapidly growing high-quality timber.  Divided by the Cascade Mountain range, the State has two climates.

Western Washington - The rainfall in western Washington ranges from about 20 inches per year to more than 200 inches. The marine systems of the Pacific Ocean, Puget Sound and the strait of Juan de Fuca significantly influence the climate and the plants and animals found in western Washington. These habitats include the temperate rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula and mosaics of prairie with scattered oak woodlands.

Eastern Washington - Eastern Washington receives between 5 and 55 inches of rainfall, and its varied ecosystems are linked together by the vast Columbia and Snake rivers. About two-thirds of eastern Washington was once comprised of shrub-steppe or grassland prairie.

Habitats of Special Concern
Current habitats of special concern include: streams and riparian (streamside) areas, wetlands, prairies, oak woodlands and shrub-steppe. Wildlife species of concern include bull trout (federally threatened), salmon, cutthroat trout, bald eagle, black tern, Columbia spotted frog and pygmy rabbit. Plant species of concern include the federally listed golden paintbrush and water howellia.

Population growth, economic development and other environmental alterations will continue to put great pressure on our marine and freshwater ecosystems. Much of the shrubsteppe and grassland prairies in eastern Washington have been converted to agricultural and grazing uses.

Conservation Strategies
Riparian, Wetland and Stream Restoration
The Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Washington works with willing landowners, land managers and a variety of partners to restore habitat for the Pacific Northwest’s imperiled bull trout, salmon, steelhead, native trout stocks and a host of terrestrial wildlife species. We emphasize restoration projects that help restore overall watershed health for the long-term, and benefit a diverse array of fish and wildlife species. For example, the Partners Program contributed funding and technical assistance to restore a perpetual easement encompassing more than 300 acres of riparian, wetland and upland habitat in Grays Harbor County. The project benefitted bald eagle, bull trout, steelhead, cutthroat, coho and chum salmon, and other migratory and resident fish and wildlife species.

For stream, wetland and riparian habitat restoration across the State, costs vary widely due to the large variety of project types in these habitats. The average cost is $8,000 per acre for these different habitat types.

Prairie, Oak Woodland and Shrub-Steppe Restoration
We are also partnering with several Federal and State agencies and local organizations to shrub-steppe and prairie/oak woodland habitat. In western Washington it costs about $2,500 per acre to restore prairie/oak woodland and about $1,000 per acre to restore shrub-steppe Palouse prairie in eastern Washington.

The Partners Program was initiated in western Washington in Fiscal Year 1998, and in eastern Washington in Fiscal Year 1999. The Partners Program has focused on restoring habitat for threatened and endangered animal and plant species, and other migratory and resident fish and wildlife species. Special attention has been given to forming partnerships on lands with permanent easements. To date, we have restored:

  • 186 acres of wetland
  • 12 miles of riparian habitat
  • 2 miles of in-stream habitat
  • 30 acres of native grassland
  • 48 acres of other Federal trust species habitat
  • Additionally, anadromous fish passage has been restored to 15 stream miles.

Future Needs

  • Restore 12,000 acres of stream, riparian, and wetland habitats.
  • Restore 1,500 acres of prairie/oak woodlands.
  • Restore 2,000 acres of shrub-steppe/Palouse prairie.

Additional Contact Information
Western Washington
Paco Rodriguez
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
510 Desmond Drive, Suite 102
Lacey, WA 98503-1273
360 753-9440 (Fax) 360 753-9008

Eastern Washington
Juliet Barenti
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
11103 East Montgomery #2
Spokane, WA 99206
509 891-6839 (Fax) 509 891-6748


Contact Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program in Washington

Paco Rodriguez
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
510 Desmond Drive
Suite 102
Lacey, Washington  98503
Phone: 360 753-9440
Fax: 360 753-9008


Service Area

National Program

Office Locaters

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