The 320-acre Dormaier unit is located one-half mile west of the Chester Butte unit.. Like the Chester Butte unit, this area provides habitat for wildlife that are dependent on shrubsteppe habitat for all or part of the year. This is a good area to find sage sparrows, Brewer’s sparrows and sage thrashers. Sage grouse use the area for nesting, and throughout the winter months. Once used by the endangered pygmy rabbit, the unit’s deep soils and mature sagebrush makes it a potential release site for the reintroduction of the endangered pygmy rabbit. In 2007 100 acres of agricultural fields that had been abandoned in the 1950’s were reseeded to native vegetation. Future management of the area will focus on ensuring the success of this project and control of noxious weeds. Elevation ranges from 2,300 feet to about 2,170 feet.
Birds of Prey
How to Get
Map and Driving Directions
Access Site #1
Driving Directions From north: Travel State Highway 17 to State Highway 172. Turn west on to 172 and travel 6 miles to it's insection with Douglas County Road L NE. Turn south on Road L and travel 9 miles to it's intersection with Douglas County Road 5 NE. Turn west on to Road 5 and travel 4 miles to it's intersection with Road H NE. Turn south on Road and travel 0.25 miles to parking area. From south: Travel US Highway 2 to it's intersection with Douglas County Road L NE. Turn north on Road L and travel 5 miles to it's insection with Road 5. Turn west on to Road 5 and travel 4 miles to it's intersection with Road H NE. Turn south on Road and travel 0.25 miles to parking area.
Parking/Restroom Information Parking area is large enough for 1-2 vehicles. There is no overnight parking or restroom facilities. Fires are NOT permitted at any time during the year.
Other Information During winter months Road 5 is not plowed beyond the 3.5 mile point. Travel is not advised. Road 5 is an unimproved road and not suited to travel by sedans or other vehicles with low ground clearance. When wet it can become impassable - use at your own risk.
The Chester Butte and Dormaier units are located in an area of Douglas County that was extensively affected by glaciation 15,000 years ago. The result is a landscape that features many examples of glacial deposition including eskers, kames, drumlins, erratics (haystack rocks) and a terminal moraine. This moraine, known as the Withrow Moriane, extends across the width of Douglas County from the Columbia River east to Coulee City. So unique are these features within the Columbia Plateau that the National Park Service designated several sites within the county as National Natural Landmarks. The Chester Butte unit and the nearby Dormaier unit are part of the Withrow Moraine and Jameson Lake Drumlin Field National Natural Landmark. Chester Butte is one of the most prominent features within this area.
For more information on the Withrow Moraine and Jameson Lake Drumlin Field see the following links:
No motorized vehicles are allowed on the unit. The primary hunted species is mule deer. Sage grouse are a protected species and can be found anywhere on the unit. Hunters are advised to be proficient at identifying these birds. Cell phone coverage is not reliable.
A Discover Pass or WDFW Vehicle Access Pass
is required on all WDFW lands. Learn more at DiscoverPass.wa.gov