Habitat - Wildlife Area Management
Date Published: November 2006
Number of Pages: 125
Author(s): John Garrett, Belinda Schuster and Donna Gleisner
The 1,956-acre Snoqualmie Wildlife Area consists of six units in western Washington north of Seattle and west of the Cascade mountains. Four units are in Snohomish County (Crescent Lake, Spencer Island, Ebey Island and Corson Units); two are in King County (Stillwater and Cherry Valley Units). Five of the units (all but Corson) are in the floodplain of either the Snoqualmie or Snohomish rivers. From north to south, the Corson Unit is an upland site located just north of Lake Stevens. The Spencer Island Unit is just east of the city of Everett, while the Ebey Island Unit is located between Everett and Snohomish. The Crescent Lake Unit is located three miles south of Monroe, the Cherry Valley Unit is located one mile north of Duvall, and the Stillwater Unit is located three miles north of Carnation.
The primary reason for purchasing the Snoqualmie Wildlife Area parcels was to preserve and enhance natural stream drainages, floodplain wetland habitat and provide opportunities for hunting, dog training and nature observation. Acquisitions for the Snoqualmie Wildlife Area occurred between 1964 and 1989, beginning with the Ebey Island property. Four parcels were added in the 1970s, and the Spencer Island Unit was purchased most recently, in 1989. Most purchases were made with a combination of WDFW funds, Washington (state) Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation funds, State Duck Stamp monies and (federal) Bureau of Outdoor Recreation funds. While the Wildlife Area continues to be managed for traditional consumptive and non-consumptive recreational uses, the recent federal listing as threatened of chinook salmon in the Snoqualmie and Snohomish watersheds has shifted the Wildlife Area’s priority towards salmon habitat recovery and restoration. On the Snoqualmie Wildlife Area, eight bird species, four fish species and one reptile species are either threatened, sensitive, species of concern or candidate species for listing at the state or federal level.
The primary management concerns and public issues identified in the Snoqualmie Wildlife Area Plan are:
- Restore and enhance salmonid and other fish habitat.
- Protect and manage habitat for the diverse species of fish and wildlife found in the area.
- Manage appropriate agricultural and wetland areas for wintering waterfowl.
- Continue pheasant release program on Stillwater, Cherry Valley and Crescent Lake.
- Work with WDFW staff and other organizations to continue habitat and recreational enhancements.
- Control noxious weeds.
- Continue management of traditional recreational uses and monitor units for conflicting and detrimental uses.
- Research options to restore and enhance wetland habitats and waterfowl hunting opportunities.
- Complete wetland restoration project proposal for the Cherry Valley Unit.
- Complete the fish passage retrofit project in cooperation with the WDFW/TAPPS program.
- Continue building conservation partnerships with other agencies and organizations.
In consultation with other governmental and nongovernmental organizations, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife developed a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation November 2006 vii Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Strategy (CWCS) in 2005 with the intention of creating a new management framework to protect those species and habitats in greatest need of conservation. Its guiding principles include:
1) conserving species and habitats with the greatest need while recognizing the importance of keeping common species common, and
2) building and strengthening partnerships with other conservation agencies, tribes, local governments, and non government organizations.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2007. Snoqualmie Wildlife Area Management Plan. Wildlife Management Program, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia.