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Coastal Washington Analysis

Black bear in Olympic National Park. Credit: National Park Service

Black bear in Olympic National Park. Credit: National Park Service

The westernmost and wettest landscape in our state lies in the heavily forested region encompassing the Olympic mountains and coastline, Puget Sound, and the gentler Willapa Hills. The rainforests are home to Roosevelt Elk as well as black bear, black-tailed deer, marten, fisher, Northern flying squirrel, and the Northern spotted owl.  The region’s wetlands offer habitats for a wealth of species including the trumpeter swan, Van Dyke’s salamander, the Olympic mudminnow, and the Makah copper butterfly.

In 2010, our statewide analysis identified a need for a closer look at this landscape extending from the Southern Cascades (from approximately Mount Rainier to the Columbia River), through southwestern Washington, and into the Olympic Peninsula due to patterns that emerged for several species in this landscape and the limitations of the broad-scale spatial data required for the regional analysis.  More detailed finer-scale analyses are necessary to prioritize and inform actions to maintain and restore habitat connectivity in this region.

To meet this need our working group is initiating a highly-collaborative effort with land managers, owners of working forest-lands and other stakeholders in this region to produce an assessment of habitat connectivity patterns in SW Coastal Washington at a resolution that can inform landscape planning, development and coordination of conservation plans, and opportunities for implementing mitigation or restoration actions that improve habitat connectivity.  Click here to view a map of this region.

This effort is in the initial stages of development, please contact us if you would like to be engaged.