Connecting Communities and Landscapes in Washington’s Arid Sagelands

Connecting Communities and Landscapes in Washington’s Arid Sagelands

Conservation Northwest

This project aims to support and amplify the sustainability and regional impact of our Sagelands Heritage Program (SHP), which works to maintain, restore and connect shrub-steppe landscapes from British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley to south-central Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills for the good of both wildlife and people.

The Sagelands Heritage Program builds upon existing science and partnerships to strategically identify, prioritize and implement conservation actions in heavily-fragmented landscapes. Science has pointed to this area, located in the heart of Central Washington’s shrub-steppe habitat, as part of a wildlife corridor that is critical to the ability of species to adapt to climate change. SHP will enable priority species, including sage-grouse, bighorn sheep, sharp-tailed grouse, mule deer and pygmy rabbits, to better adapt to changing habitats and conditions by enabling safer movement north-south as well as up and down across a greater range of elevations.

With a goal of serving as a catalyst for localized efforts for protection and restoration of local species and enhancing habitat connectivity, the Sagelands Heritage Program has a unique opportunity to engage with diverse groups in the Okanogan Valley.

For our Earth Day Northwest 2020 project, we are proposing a $50,000 grant to fund 15 engagement events, including guided hikes, field visits, habitat restoration workshops, and infrastructure improvement projects, with diverse partners in Eastern Washington to engage communities in restoration work that helps species better adapt to climate change.