This advisory group has been disbanded or is no longer active.
During the 2021 legislative session, the Washington state legislature appropriated $2.35 million from the general state fund to restore and protect shrubsteppe habitat in Eastern Washington. These operating funds are to be appropriated each biennium (two-year period). An additional $1.5 million of capital funds to rebuild wildlife-friendly fences in prioritized areas will be available through June 2023.
The shrubsteppe is an arid ecosystem found in Eastern Washington and other western states. Once covering over 10 million acres in Eastern Washington, 80% of historic shrubsteppe has been lost or degraded. In 2020 alone, 600,000 acres of this imperiled landscape burned in devastating wildfires.
The new funding will support near-term actions to benefit wildlife habitat and landowners in shrubsteppe communities affected by wildfires, including supporting recovery actions for endangered pygmy rabbits and Greater sage-grouse populations. Restoration efforts will be coordinated with other natural resource agencies and interested stakeholders.
A portion of the funding will be used by WDFW to form a collaborative group process representing diverse stakeholders and facilitated by a neutral third-party to develop a long-term strategy for shrubsteppe conservation and fire preparedness, response, and restoration to meet the needs of the state’s shrubsteppe wildlife and human communities.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) partnered with the Washington Department of Natural Resources and Washington State Conservation Commission to form a steering committee that will meet regularly and make decisions on how to best use state funds with input from two advisory groups and associated technical teams.
Two advisory groups will provide input to the steering committee:
- Near-term Action Advisory Group
- Strategy Development Advisory Group
Near-term action technical teams
- Wildlife species recovery
- Technical tools supporting restoration delivery
- Deferred grazing
- Native plant material production
- Wildlife-friendly fencing
- Cultural resources review capacity
At the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, we celebrate diverse individuals who bring a wide range of perspectives. All are welcome to participate in our processes regardless of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, status as a veteran, and basis of disability.
Contacts and member info
Agendas will be available approximately one week prior to the next meeting.